DHARAMSALA, Oct 2: Hundreds of anti-government protesters marched in Hong Kong a day after Hong Kong police shot an 18-year-old student in the chest that nearly killed him.
The protesters marched from Chater Garden in Central, the heart of Hong Kong’s business centre chanting slogans against police brutality and calling to disband the police force to protest against the shooting of the student by police yesterday while protesting during the 70th founding anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party.
Tsang Chi-kin, 18, was shot by a police officer in his left lung – three centimetres from his heart following a scuffle on Tuesday afternoon during the mass protest. The student is said to be in stable condition after surgery.
Though people have been shot by rubber bullets in previous protests over the last four months by the police who were often seen using brute force, this is the first injury from a live round.
While the protesters marched along several main roads from the heart of Hong Kong’s business centre, students at multiple secondary schools also organised ad hoc class boycotts to express outrage, with a sit-in held at Tsuen Wan Public Ho Chuen Yiu Memorial College – the school where the shooting victim is a fifth-form student, the HKFP reported.
“Protesters used so many ways to peacefully protest but still didn’t get a proper response from the government. That’s why we escalated action. I think blocking roads is a more peaceful method of demonstrating,” SCMP quoted Chan a protester as saying in its report.
Kathy Chau, another protester who works at a multinational financial firm has reportedly joined march during her lunch break, even though her company is against the protests because of the police shooting.
“Doing the right thing is more important to me than worrying about what my boss or colleagues think of me,” she has said in the report and added that “We are seeing an escalation in police’s abuse of power over the past few months.”
The shooting was condemned by human rights organisations. Amnesty International has called it an ‘alarming development’ while local watchdog Civil Rights Observer has said the decision to fire live ammunition was ‘excessive and unnecessary’.