A form six student who was beaten by police in September has said that he has been diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and had to abandon his upcoming exams.

On September 7, protesters formed a human chain at Tai Po Market MTR Station, as some activists vandalised the station. Police arrived and made several arrests, including the 17-year-old form six student surnamed Chu.

Chu – who studied at the nearby Carmel Pak U Secondary School – told Now TV in an interview aired on Sunday that he was only a spectator and was leaving the area. However, he was beaten with police batons and arrested on suspicion of unlawful assembly, Chu said.

Injured student surnamed Chu
The injured student surnamed Chu. Photo: Now TV screenshot.

Large-scale protests have continued since June. Initially against a now-withdrawn extradition bill, the movement has escalated as protesters demand democracy and an independent investigation into police behaviour.

Chu said his head, back and limbs were beaten. He received two stitches on the left side of his head and underwent surgery for a fractured right finger. He was hospitalised for two weeks.

He said he has to take four types of psychiatric medications daily after being diagnosed with PTSD: “Basically I can’t sleep. Sometimes I was afraid to sleep – I was so afraid. I would have nightmares after I slept, and I would suddenly wake up for no reason,” he said.

YouTube video

Chu returned to school in October when he was unconditionally released by police after refusing a bail extension. But he said he was unable to focus in classes and is able to cope with a full day at school.

“I would have anxiety, I would want to throw up, I would have dizziness. Mostly because I thought about what happened before,” he said, “Or it would occur at 6, 7pm at school – after it turned dark – when the feeling of safety was lower.”

See also: HKFP’s comprehensive guide to mental health services in Hong Kong

He said that, with the approval of his parents, he had to abandon the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education Examination next year.

Injured student surnamed Chu
Injured student surnamed Chu’s right little finger. Photo: Now TV screenshot.

“Even if I recovered, my emotions could be triggered easily by different events in society,” he said.

He said he hoped to study medicine-related subjects to help those injured in the protests.

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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.