- The man was possibly hit during his lunch break by a "blunt object" thrown by "protesters."
- Violence in Hong Kong has increased in recent days.
- Anti-government protests have been taking place for more than five months in the Chinese Special Administrative Region.
A 70-year-old man died after being hit during a clash involving anti-government protesters in Hong Kong, local authorities said late on Thursday. The media had reported that the man was hit in the head by a brick on Wednesday amid a clash between protesters and a group of locals. The victim was trying, with other people, to remove stones placed by the protesters in a street block.
A statement issued by the Hong Kong environmental hygiene authority, for which the victim worked, says the man was possibly hit during his lunch break by a “blunt object” thrown by “protesters.” Police classified the incident as murder. In video footage that captured the incident, protesters dressed in black clothes are seen throwing stones and other objects at another group. The man is hit by an object and falls to the ground.
Violence in Hong Kong has increased in recent days. Last week, authorities confirmed the death of a student who fell from a building during rioting. Subsequent clashes ensued between activists and the police. The circumstances of the death have not been clarified, though the activists insist that the police officers were responsible for the death.
On Monday, a policeman shot at close range against a young protester, severely injuring him in the belly. The boy is hospitalized, and his condition is improving. Elsewhere, a 15-year-old who was allegedly hit in the head by a tear gas canister.
Anti-government protests have been taking place for more than five months in the Chinese Special Administrative Region. Protesters criticize, among other things, China’s growing influence on the former British colony. Since being placed under the governance of China in 1997, Hong Kong has been autonomously governed by the “one country, two systems” principle.
The Protesters are calling for, amongst other things, free elections, an independent investigation into police violence, and freedom for more than 4,000 prisoners. They also want the resignation of Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam, whom they consider as China’s puppet.
In London, Hong Kong Justice Minister Teresa Cheng was attacked on the street by a group of activists and was “seriously injured.” She had visited the British capital to participate in trade negotiations. According to media reports, the minister was accused of being a murderer by the attackers.
Due to the protests and trade war between China and the US, the Hong Kong government believes the city will be affected by a deep recession. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is expected to fall by 1.3% this year, which would be Hong Kong’s first annual economic downturn in ten years.