Police shoot teenager as Hong Kong violence escalates
Footage of 18-year-old's shooting goes viral as city-state endures day of chaos
Hong Kong has endured one of its “most violent and chaotic days”, the city's police chief has said.
On the 70th anniversary of Communist Party rule in China yesterday, 104 people were taken to hospital and 180 were arrested. As CNN put it: “Hong Kong protesters set out to spoil China's big day. They succeeded.”
The BBC says that “protesters - armed with petrol bombs and projectiles - fought pitched battles with police” in several parts of the city.
An 18-year-old demonstrator, named as Tsang Chi-kin, was shot in the chest with a live bullet - one of six fired by police over the course of the day. Footage of the shooting of has gone viral online, showing Tsang shot after attacking officers with a metal rod. “My chest is hurting, I need to go to hospital,” the 18-year-old says in the video.
The authorities said he was in a stable condition.
The shooting of the teenager was the first time live ammunition has been used on the protesters, and The Guardian says it represents “a major escalation of force by authorities”.
Police chief Stephen Lo claims the shooting was “lawful and reasonable” because the officer thought his life was in danger. Asked why the bullet was fired at such close range, Lo said: “He [the officer] did not decide the distance between him and the assailant.”
Hundreds of students, alumni and staff have held a sit-in outside the shooting victim's school, where they held signs saying “students without violence” and accusing Hong Kong police of “pre-meditated murder”.
China's ambassador to the UK says the fault for the violence lies with the protesters.
He told Sky News: “We strongly condemn the violence of rioters. This violence has been going on for several months - they challenge the bottom line of one country two systems, they challenge the rule of law in the country.”
–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––For a round-up of the most important stories from around the world - and a concise, refreshing and balanced take on the week’s news agenda - try The Week magazine. Get your first six issues for £6–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––