HK college student dies after vehicle park fall: hospital

HK college student dies after vehicle park fall: hospital

Two pro-Beijing newspapers ran full-page ads, commissioned by "a group of Hong Kong people", calling for the lowest-tier 24 November district council elections to be postponed, a move which would infuriate those calling for democracy. University President Wei Shyy briefly paused the school's graduation ceremony to announce Chow's death and observe a moment of silence.

Prominent youth activist Joshua Wong said Chow's death made protesters' demands for an investigation into police conduct more crucial than ever. "Given the losses suffered by HK society in the past month, the gov must pay the price".

Dressed in formal graduation gowns, many of about 1,000 students chanted as they walked to the ceremony venue, near the New Territories town of Sha Tin, calling for the government to respond to protesters' demands that include universal suffrage.

Chow's death is expected to spark fresh protests and fuel anger and resentment against the police, who are already under huge pressure amid accusations of excessive force as the city grapples with its worst political crisis in decades.

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.

They have also denied allegations of interfering with rescuers treating the student, or blocking the ambulance that took him to hospital.

Students and young people have been at the forefront of the hundreds of thousands who have taken to the streets since June to press for greater democracy, among other demands, and rally against perceived Chinese meddling in the Asian financial hub. There have been previous reports of deaths by suicide, and a man fell to his death while hanging pro-democracy banners on a building.

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

Fellow students had been holding a vigil round the clock for Chow as doctors battled to save his life.

Calls also emerged online for other memorial events Friday to mourn Chow in multiple locations including at the suburban garage where he fell. Protesters have been urged to dress in black and wear masks to remember Chow. Hong Kong is bracing for a weekend of rallies that have been planned in areas across the city, beginning Friday.

The incident has sparked student protests on campus.

The long-running protests were triggered by a now-shelved extradition bill to mainland China, but have extended todemands for direct elections and an independent investigation into alleged police brutality.

The city's embattled leader Carrie Lam has refused to budge and provoked more anger last month by invoking emergency powers to ban the wearing of facial coverings at rallies.

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