HONG KONG - A student at a Hong Kong university who fell during protests at the weekend died on Friday, the first student death in months of anti-government demonstrations in the Chinese-ruled city that is likely to be a trigger for fresh unrest.
Chow Tsz-lok, 22, an undergraduate student at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, died of injuries sustained early on Monday. The circumstances of how he was injured were unclear but authorities said he was believed to have fallen from the third to the second floor in a parking lot when police dispersed crowds in a district east of the Kowloon peninsula.
Chow’s death is expected to spark fresh protests and fuel anger and resentment against the police, who are already under pressure amid accusations of excessive force as the city grapples with its worst political crisis in decades.
Demonstrators had thronged the hospital this week to pray for Chow, leaving flowers and hundreds of get-well messages on walls and notice boards inside the building. Students also staged rallies at universities across the former British colony.
“Wake up soon. Remember we need to meet under the LegCo,” said one message, referring to the territory’s Legislative Council, one of the targets of the protest rallies. “There are still lots of things for you to experience in your life.”
Another read: “Please add oil and stay well,” a slogan meaning “keep your strength up” that has become a rallying cry of the protest movement.