Hong Kong Activists Vow to 'Bring Justice to the Dead' as Student Becomes Latest Protester to Die

Pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong have vowed to secure justice for a university student who died Friday after falling from a car park.

Chow Tsz-lok, 22, fell from the car park on Sunday. He suffered a heart attack on Friday while being treated in hospital and died soon afterwards, Hong Kong Free Press reported. Chow was a student at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

Chow fell soon after anti-government protesters surrounded a hotel in Tseung Kwan O in the northeast of the territory, having heard rumors than a police officer was getting married there. Police eventually fired tear gas to disperse them.

It is not clear how Chow ended up falling from the nearby car park, dropping from the third to the second floor. He was rushed to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and remained in a critical condition until he died on Friday.

Activists have claimed that Chow was being chased by police before he fell, with some even suggesting he was pushed by an officer. Police have also been accused of delaying paramedics trying to reach Chow and take him to the hospital. Force spokespeople have denied all allegations of wrongdoing.

Though no protesters have yet been killed by police, multiple accidental deaths and suicides have been linked to the anti-government movement. Other protesters have been seriously injured by police, with two people shot with live ammunition.

Student groups and pro-democracy activists are calling for a full and independent investigation into the incident. Johnny Lai, the student union interim president at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, told reporters at the hospital: "There needs to be an investigation into the truth."

The Demosisto pro-democracy group posted a thread of tweets about the incident.

"Various media footage show that #HKPolice set up cordon lines and blocked ambulance access to Chow after his fall last Sunday," the group said. "Clips from security cameras also suggest Chow was allegedly pushed off by an undercover cop.'

Demosisto called for "an urgent and independent investigation into all these events leading to Chow Tsz-lok's fall. #HongKongPolice must now disclose all the details relating to the police operation."

Five months of anti-government action has seen the police become a reviled symbol of government oppression. Allegations of brutality and torture abound as police have become increasingly violent in suppressing protesters.

Among the five demands of protesters is an independent investigation into police conduct since the mass action began in June. The government has flatly refused to comply.

"Chow's death and #policeviolence are deeply related," Demosisto added. "The current investigative mechanisms can no longer restore public trust and fail to meet the expectations of the whole society."

The group, of which famed pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong is a founding member, added that an independent investigation into Chow's death is the only way "to hold police misconducts checked and accountable. May Justice be done and seen. Now it is the duty of the living to bring justice to the dead."

"Today is one of the hardest days for Demosisto and every single #Hongkonger," the statement continued. "But we will carry Chow's unfinished work and let his dream come to our city before long."

Hong Kong, student, death, activists, justice, police
Hong Kong University of Science and Technology students march towards the university president Wei Shyy's lodge in Hong Kong on November 8, 2019, following the death of a 22-year-old fellow student. PHILIP FONG/AFP via Getty Images/Getty