More vi­o­lence af­ter death in HK

► Es­ca­lat­ing chaos will af­fect fair­ness of up­com­ing elec­tions: ob­servers

Global Times - Weekend - - FRONT PAGE - By Chen Qingqing and Zhao Yusha

The “mourn­ing” for the death of the Hong Kong stu­dent who fell from a build­ing fi­nally evolved into old tricks as block­ing roads, van­dal­iz­ing the MTR and cam­pus vi­o­lence, trig­ger­ing con­cerns that es­ca­lat­ing vi­o­lence will sab­o­tage the fair­ness of the city’s up­com­ing elec­tions, Hong Kong-based ob­servers noted.

Chow Tsz-lok, a 22-year-old com­puter sci­ence un­der­grad­u­ate at Hong Kong Univer­sity of Sci­ence and Tech­nol­ogy (HKUST), died Fri­day morn­ing af­ter suf­fer­ing brain in­juries from a car park fall dur­ing a vi­o­lent protest on Mon­day.

Op­po­si­tion groups in­sisted that Hong Kong po­lice should be blamed for his death.

Dur­ing a press con­fer­ence on Fri­day af­ter­noon, Se­nior Su­per­in­ten­dent Foo Yat-ting of the Hong Kong Po­lice Force’s Kowloon East Re­gion dis­missed the ac­cu­sa­tion that po­lice chased Chow be­fore he died and hin­dered his re­cov­ery.

Po­lice had dis­missed sim­i­lar ru­mors on Tues­day.

Chow left his home

alone, wan­dered alone in the car park and walked to the third floor alone, Foo said. She noted that the po­lice en­tered the car park twice that night. Chow wasn’t seen there the first time, and the sec­ond time the po­lice ar­rived at the same time as fire­fight­ers, who were ad­min­is­ter­ing first aid on Chow.

The cause of the fall was still un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion, said Foo, who vowed fair­ness in the in­ves­ti­ga­tion and promised all in­for­ma­tion con­cern­ing Chow’s death will be pub­lished in an open man­ner.

Af­ter Chow’s death, the univer­sity pres­i­dent urged students to ob­serve re­straint dur­ing this time so as to avoid fur­ther con­flict and tragedy.

The Hong Kong Spe­cial Ad­min­is­tra­tive Re­gion gov­ern­ment said that it is sad­dened by the stu­dent’s death, adding that the po­lice are com­mit­ted to in­ves­ti­gat­ing the in­ci­dent.

Chow’s death has be­come a new ex­cuse for op­po­si­tion groups to incite ha­tred. Many ri­ot­ers in the univer­sity van­dal­ized cam­pus fa­cil­i­ties, smashed a pro­fes­sor’s of­fice and the univer­sity pres­i­dent’s res­i­dence, blocked roads and van­dal­ized MTR sta­tions in the name of “mourn­ing Chow.”

“This is the most fright­en­ing day for me since the protests broke out in June,” said a main­land stu­dent in HKUST sur­named Zhang.

Threat to elec­tions

The death of the HKUST stu­dent will fur­ther in­flame the cur­rent con­fronta­tion, and such ha­tred and di­ver­gence would hardly guar­an­tee a fair en­vi­ron­ment for the elec­tions, said Chan Yung, vice-chair­man of Demo­cratic Al­liance for the Bet­ter­ment and Progress of Hong Kong (DAB). The lo­cal elec­tions falls on Novem­ber 24.

Over 60 of­fices of DAB have been van­dal­ized, and the cases have not been solved and mobs could not be stopped, Chan noted.

The pro-es­tab­lish­ment leg­is­la­tor Ju­nius Ho was stabbed by a mur­der sus­pect with a knife in Tuen Mun Wed­nes­day morn­ing. Af­ter the at­tack, Ho said pro-es­tab­lish­ment voices have been threat­ened by black forces, and the up­com­ing dis­trict elec­tions will be sab­o­taged as ri­ot­ers en­gage in vi­cious at­tacks on can­di­dates.

The attacker was charged with at­tempted mur­der for al­legedly stab­bing Ho, and was de­nied bail in court on Fri­day.

Call to stop vi­o­lence

Some Hong Kong peo­ple were con­cerned about the es­ca­lat­ing vi­o­lence ahead of the lo­cal elec­tions.

“This will be the dark­est elec­tion pe­riod we will go through,” El­iz­a­beth Quat, a Hong Kong law­maker, told the Global Times.

Aside from pro-es­tab­lish­ment leg­is­la­tors, so­cial work­ers and em­ploy­ees who work for political par­ties, and or­di­nary peo­ple who sup­port the gov­ern­ment also face grow­ing safety con­cerns, said Quat.

“One of our so­cial work­ers was at­tacked by a black-clad mob this morn­ing in Sha Tin. And many or­di­nary peo­ple also want to know how they can avoid be­ing at­tacked if they come out and vote.”

Ho said the pri­mary task for Hong Kong to­day is to pre­vent political par­ties and politi­cians that sup­port vi­o­lence from win­ning in the lo­cal elec­tions on Novem­ber 24. “No mat­ter what your political stance is, please cut your­self off from vi­o­lence,” Ho said.

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