Hong Kong student’s death triggers fresh outrage

Protest at Chinese University of Hong Kong

Hong Kong authorities readied on Friday for a series of student demonstrations and further weekend protests, the latest in more than five months of anti-government unrest that has sparked the Chinese-ruled city's worst crisis in decades.

Mr Chow fell from the third floor to the second floor of a parking garage in the Tseung Kwan O neighbourhood while police worked nearby to disperse protesters.

Police officials acknowledge that tear gas had been used to disperse protesters near the auto park, but say there was only a small amount of gas in the air when emergency responders found Chow.

He was found lying unconscious in a pool of blood inside a vehicle park that police had fired tear gas into after protesters hurled objects from the building.

Police did not rule out the possibility he was fleeing from tear gas but noted officials fired from a distance.

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"Considering it's the first death that's happened at a police-people confrontation scene, it will certainly add fuel to the already strong fire of anger - particularly when people generally have absolutely no trust in the system, and the police", said Alvin Yeung, a pro-democracy lawmaker.

Protesters have issued a list of demands, including fully free elections to choose the city's leader and an investigation into alleged abuses by police. Police also denied claims that officers pushed the victim down and had delayed emergency services.

Alex Chow, a computer science undergraduate of the University of Science and Technology, was certified dead at 8.09 am on Friday, Queen Elizabeth Hospital confirmed.

The college held its graduation ceremony Friday morning, and university head Wei Shyy paused the proceedings to announce Chow's death. Some carried white flowers and placards that read "Hong Kong is a police state".

Lai added that the university would hold a candlelight vigil at 6 p.m., in addition to an evening memorial at the auto park where Chow fell.

The attack was "not only a serious criminal act but also pure election violence", Xu Luying, spokeswoman for the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office of China's central government, said on Thursday, according to the official Xinhua news agency.



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