HK student dies falling in clashes between police, protesters

Pro-Beijing Hong Kong lawmaker Junius Ho was stabbed on the street while campaigning and pro-democracy candidate Andrew Chiu had a piece of his ear bitten off in a vicious brawl

HONG KONG-A student at a Hong Kong university who fell during protests over 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.

After news of the death broke, hundreds of masked protesters marched through the central district, chanting "Disband the police force", "Hong Kong people, revenge" and "A blood debt must be paid in blood".

Anti-government protesters also called for people to take part in assemblies across Hong Kong's 18 districts on Friday evening, including a candlelight vigil at the Tseung Kwan O vehicle park where Chow fell.

Protesters demanded justice for Chow and hurled abuse at several police officials on site, calling them "murderers".

She said new video showed him wandering alone on the second floor of the vehicle park for more than half an hour before he took the stairs to an upper floor.

At the end of a week of convocations and celebrations on university campuses in Hong Kong, the death of a student protester on Friday morning cast a pall and halted the ceremony at his alma mater.

However, for the protesters and Amnesty's Tam, public outrage over the circumstances of Chow's death only underscores the importance of empanelling an independent inquiry vested with investigatory power to fully probe police conduct in the ongoing protest movement.

Students also held a moment of silence to pray for a University of Science and Technology student who remained in critical condition after falling off a carpark building early Monday after police fired tear gas. Police believed he fell from an upper floor but it was not captured on security cameras.

High school pupils are also planning a rally in the eastern district of Kwun Tong, they said in advertisements before Chow's death.

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Dressed in formal graduation gowns, numerous students chanted as they walked from a metro station to the ceremony venue, calling for the government to respond to protesters' demands that include universal suffrage. Police are investigating exactly what happened in the case, which intensified anger against police. Other protesters have been seriously injured by police, with two people shot with live ammunition.

After the ceremony was cut short, hundreds of students gathered to mourn Chow's passing and condemn what they described as police brutality.

University President Wei Shyy called for an independent probe after video showed an ambulance being blocked by police cars, forcing medical staff to walk to the scene and causing a delay in treatment. More rallies can be expected over the weekend.

Wu, the lead investigator, confirmed on Friday that police entered the vehicle park twice to contain the protesters but said that officers were not inside when Chow fell four metres between two storeys.

In Beijing, foreign affairs ministry Geng Shuang declined to comment directly when asked about Chow's death but said "eliminating disorder" was Hong Kong's most urgent task.

The court ruling came a day after Chinese Vice Premier Han Zhen said restoring order in Hong Kong is the responsibility of all three branches of government including the judiciary, following talks with the city's embattled leader, Carrie Lam.

Earlier this week, a pro-Beijing lawmaker in Hong Kong was stabbedby a civilian and another lawmaker had part of his ear bitten offin a separate incident.

The students defied a ban on masks that the government imposed last month in a bid to curb unrest that has rocked the Chinese-ruled city for more than five months.

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