Po­lice shoot Hong Kong pro­tester dur­ing clashes

The Korea Times - - WORLD -

HONG KONG (AP) — Hong Kong po­lice shot a pro­tester at close range, leav­ing him bleed­ing from his shoul­der and howl­ing on the ground, in a fear­some es­ca­la­tion of anti-govern­ment demon­stra­tions that spread across the semi-au­tonomous Chi­nese ter­ri­tory on Tues­day. Tens of thou­sands marched in a day of rage as Com­mu­nist lead­ers in Bei­jing cel­e­brated 70 years in power.

The pro­tester was shot by an of­fi­cer who opened fire with his re­volver, a po­lice of­fi­cial said, speak­ing to The As­so­ci­ated Press on con­di­tion of anonymity be­cause he was not au­tho­rized to re­lease in­for­ma­tion. While of­fi­cers have pre­vi­ously fired warn­ing shots in the air on mul­ti­ple oc­ca­sions dur­ing Hong Kong’s month­s­long anti-govern­ment protests, this is the first time a pro­tester is known to have been shot.

Video of the shoot­ing that spread quickly on so­cial me­dia ap­peared to show the of­fi­cer open­ing fire as the pro­tester came at him with a ba­ton, strik­ing the of­fi­cer’s shoot­ing arm.

Taken by the City Univer­sity Stu­dent Union, it showed a dozen black­clad pro­test­ers hurl­ing ob­jects at a group of riot po­lice and clos­ing in on the lone of­fi­cer who pointed his re­volver and opened fire on the pro­tester who col­lapsed on the street, bleed­ing from be­low his left shoul­der.

As an­other pro­tester rushed in to try to drag away the in­jured pro­tester and was tack­led by an of­fi­cer, a gaso­line bomb landed in the mid­dle of the group of of­fi­cers in an ex­plo­sion of flames.

The South China Morn­ing Post re­ported that the pro­tester, a 17-yearold stu­dent, was taken to a hos­pi­tal and was un­der­go­ing surgery.

The shoot­ing marked a dra­matic es­ca­la­tion in vi­o­lence in a city al­ready on edge which saw fierce clashes be­tween pro-democ­racy pro­test­ers and po­lice spread­ing to mul­ti­ple ar­eas.

Riot po­lice fired nu­mer­ous vol­leys of tear gas in at least six lo­ca­tions and used wa­ter can­nons in the busi­ness dis­trict as pro­test­ers turned streets into bat­tle­fields to spoil the Oct. 1 an­niver­sary of Com­mu­nist rule.

A se­cu­rity clam­p­down in the city to thwart vi­o­lence that would em­bar­rass Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping failed to de­ter the protests, in­clud­ing a mas­sive march in the city cen­ter.

Or­ga­niz­ers said at least 100,000 peo­ple marched along a broad city thor­ough­fare in de­fi­ance of a po­lice ban, chant­ing anti-China slo­gans and some car­ry­ing Chi­nese flags de­faced with a black cross. Po­lice didn’t pro­vide an es­ti­mate of the turnout.

“They are squeez­ing our necks so we don’t breathe the air of free­dom,” said King Chan, a 57-year-old home­maker who came out to protest with her hus­band.

Many demon­stra­tors tossed wads of fake “hell” bank notes usu­ally used at fu­ner­als into the air. “The lead­ers who won’t lis­ten to our voice, this is for them,” said marcher Ray Luk.

Thou­sands of peo­ple con­fronted po­lice in mul­ti­ple lo­ca­tions across the city, the largest num­ber of si­mul­ta­ne­ous protests since the un­rest be­gan in early June over a now­shelved ex­tra­di­tion bill that ac­tivists say was an ex­am­ple of how Hong Kong’s free­doms and cit­i­zen rights are be­ing eroded.

AFP-Yon­hap

This screen cap­ture taken from hand­out video re­leased by Cam­pus TV, HKUSU shows a Hong Kong po­lice­man fir­ing his weapon and shot­ting a pro­tester dur­ing clashes in the Tsuen Wan dis­trict in Hong Kong, Tues­day, as the city ob­serves the Na­tional Day hol­i­day to mark the 70th an­niver­sary of com­mu­nist China’s found­ing.

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