A Hong Kong university has asked the police to release all materials relating to the injury of a student who was volunteering as a first-aider at a pro-democracy protest.

The first-year student from Hong Kong Shue Yan University was outside Times Square in Causeway Bay at around 6pm last Saturday when he was thought to have been struck and burned by a tear gas canister. He was not wearing a gas mask and there were only reporters and first-aiders on the scene at the time of the incident.

Hong Kong Shue Yan University student first-aider injured on November 2. Photo: inmediahk.net.

Hong Kong saw citywide skirmishes on Saturday as police fired multiple rounds of tear gas and protesters threw petrol bombs. The 22-week-long unrest was triggered by a now-withdrawn extradition bill which would have enabled fugitive transfers to mainland China. Mass demonstrations have since evolved into calls for democratic reform and accountability for the police’s handling of the crisis.

A letter from the university’s senior management team sent to Police Commissioner Stephen Lo on Monday said the student had suffered serious burns to his back and two fingers.

The letter – signed by the university’s Deputy President Hu Fai-chung – expressed serious concern over the incident.

The university team asked the police to provide them with all materials that would enable them to better understand the incident so that they could decide on what follow up actions to take. These included police and witness statements, sketch plans, photographs, investigation reports, videos and other evidence to be provided within the next seven days.

【銅鑼灣即時 | 中國製催淚彈炸傷急救員 傷者隨即倒地】

【銅鑼灣即時 | 中國製催淚彈炸傷急救員 傷者隨即倒地】防暴警投擲中國製催淚彈炸傷一名急救員,該急救員隨即倒地。急救員當時沒有防毒面具,四處充滿催淚濃煙。急救員疑吸入過多催淚煙而面容痛苦,由其他急救員及本台記者扶離危險地方並進行急救。傷者背部大範圍燒傷,及後被送往律敦治醫院救治。攝/Bun,Angus

Posted by 城市廣播 City Broadcasting Channel (CBC) on Saturday, 2 November 2019

“[A]ll our rights and interests in all these matters are reserved,” the letter added.

In a letter to students and teachers on Monday, Hu said was he was saddened by the incident. He added he visited the student on Monday and saw that his medical status was stable.

“We promise to provide all appropriate support for his studies, medical and legal needs,” Hu wrote.

Hu also urged students to take measures to ensure their personal safety and stay away from violent clashes.

Photo: Shue Yan University.

The injured student is an alumnus of Po Leung Kuk Tang Yuk Tien College, a secondary school in Tuen Mun.

The college said in a statement that it was shocked and saddened by the incident. Its principal and teachers have also visited the student at the hospital.

“The school is very concerned about the unfortunate turn of events arising from the incident. We do not agree with any violence and urge all sides to be restrained,” it said.

Hu Fai-chung. File photo: Citizen News.

Around 100 students and alumni gathered outside the school on Monday morning in a show of support for the injured student.

The student union of the university organised a rally on Tuesday in support of the student and condemned police violence.

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Kris Cheng

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.