Hong Kong protests: Week of violence continues as demonstrators take over university campuses


A 70-year-old man dies after being hit with a brick, and man set on fire still in critical condition as no end in sight to anti-government unrest

Wong Tsui-kai |

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Tolo highway in Sha Tin is intermittently open due to blockages by protesters.

Last week the ongoing unrest in Hong Kong escalated into some of the worst violence seen yet, with a 70-year-old man dying after being hit by a brick, a 57-year-old man Leung Chi-cheung left in critical condition after being set on fire, and a 15-year-old boy also in critical condition after reportedly being hit on the head by a tear gas canister in Tin Shui Wai on Wednesday.

Chow Pak-kwan, a 21-year-old student who was shot by police in Sai Wan Ho on Monday after a confrontation, is in a stable condition.

The week also saw pitched battles between police and protesters on university campuses. The most intense clashes were at Chinese University, where police reported using 1567 rounds of tear gas, 1,312 rubber bullets, 380 beanbag rounds and 126 sponge grenades on Tuesday.

Government criticised across political spectrum for inaction as demonstrations take over university campuses

The police claimed they had to stop protesters from throwing objects onto Tolo Highway from a bridge on campus. They also said they were defending themselves from petrol bombs, bows and arrows and other thrown objects. The unrest also caused week-long transport disruptions, with many train lines and roads blocked by protesters.

The Education Bureau announced suspension of classes at all schools on Thursday, while universities have either suspended classes for the week or, in the cases of Hong Kong University, CUHK, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Polytechnic University, Education University and Baptist University, for the rest of the term. On Wednesday before the school closures were announced, photos and videos of police officers stopping school students and searching their bags in MTR stations were shared on social media, sparking netizens’ anger.

On Thursday, Secretary for Justice Teresa Cheng Yeuk-wah fell and injured her arm after being surrounded by a crowd of at least 30 protesters yelling slogans during her visit to London.