Hundreds attended an event in Tseung Kwan O and Kwun Tong on Sunday to commemorate a student who was found dead last September. Fifteen-year-old Chan Yin-lam was last seen at the Hong Kong Design Institute in Tiu Keng Leng on September 19. Her body was found in the sea in Yau Tong three days later. Chan has become a symbol in the city’s ongoing pro-democracy movement owing to her alleged involvement in protests. Her mother has appeared on a TVB programme denying her daughter died under suspicious circumstances.
Memorial events were organised at the Institute, Sheung Tak Estate car park and Kwun Tong promenade to commemorate six months since Chan’s body was found. Organisers had urged participants to “be water,” implying that they should refrain from forming large crowds. Riot police officers were stationed at the three locations ahead of the scheduled start time at 7pm, according to Stand News. They reportedly stopped and searched passersby and arrested at least two people near the Institute after they failed to present valid Hong Kong identity cards. Police sealed off the Tseung Kwan O car park using cordon tape, prohibiting reporters and members of the public from entering. White flowers, candles and messages of support for Chan were laid out around the perimeter. Memorial on fire Large-scale protests erupted last June over a now-axed extradition bill that would have enabled fugitive transfers to mainland China. The movement has evolved into sometimes violent displays of dissent against police behaviour and Beijing’s encroachment, amid calls for democratic reform.
Some items laid outside the Sheung Tak Estate car park were set alight at around 5am on Saturday, Stand News reported. The memorial commemorated Chan and 22-year-old student Alex Chow Tsz-lok, who died from injuries sustained near a police clearance operation last November. Hundreds had also gathered to commemorate the two students on March 8.

Rachel Wong

Rachel Wong previously worked as a documentary producer and academic researcher. She has a BA in Comparative Literature and European Studies from the University of Hong Kong. She has contributed to A City Made by People and The Funambulist, and has an interest in cultural journalism and gender issues.