Date
21 September 2017
Dr. Patrick Toy is led away by police. Toy (inset) vomited and fell to the ground, short of breath, during the arrest, according to witnesses. Photos: SocRec
Dr. Patrick Toy is led away by police. Toy (inset) vomited and fell to the ground, short of breath, during the arrest, according to witnesses. Photos: SocRec

Senior HK academic urges dialogue after violent clashes

A leading Hong Kong academic is urging dialogue between student protesters and the government to bring the street occupation to an end.

At the same time, Peter Mathieson, vice chancellor of the University of Hong Kong (HKU) said any use of violence should be condemned, Ming Pao Daily reported Tuesday.

Mathieson made the remarks after protesters clashed with police on Sunday night during a siege of government headquarters in Admiralty.

The Hong Kong Federation of Students and the student activist group Scholarism, the two drivers of the street protests which have entered a third month, said the move on the Central Government Offices was part of a plan to occupy public buildings as a way to escalate the action.

This came after thousands of riot police cleared a key protest area in Mong Kok last week on the strength of a High Court injunction carried out by bailiffs.

Mathieson said he is “disappointed and sad” at the violence and chaos that ensued.

He reminded students that they are responsible for their actions and warned them about their own safety.

Most people, including himself, want the protests to end immediately, Mathieson was quoted as saying.

He said academics would be more than willing to mediate the stand-off.

Sunday’s clashes near government headquarters resulted in the arrest of Dr. Patrick Toy, an HKU associate professor, and several students, Hong Kong Economic Times reported Tuesday.

A reporter from independent media SocRec said he saw Toy tell the police that he does not understand Chinese and that he asked them to speak English.

The officers ignored the request, handcuffed him and led him away, the reporter said.

Toy then vomited and fell to the ground, short of breath, according to witnesses.

An HKU spokesman confirmed Toy’s arrest and said the school is providing assistance to his family.

Toy was at the scene of Sunday’s clashes but was not involved, according to Apple Daily.

Police arrested him for participating in an illegal gathering, it said.

Toy was released on Tuesday afternoon after being detained for 38 hours. 

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TL/AC/RA

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