Date
15 December 2019
People place flowers and pay tribute to a man who died in Hong Kong on Saturday after demonstrating against a controversial government extradition bill. Photo: RTHK
People place flowers and pay tribute to a man who died in Hong Kong on Saturday after demonstrating against a controversial government extradition bill. Photo: RTHK

Hundreds mourn man who fell to death during extradition protest

Hundreds of people laid flowers on the ground outside the Pacific Place mall on Sunday to pay their respects to a man who died the previous evening during an anti-extradition bill demonstration.

Calling him a “martyr” of Hong Kong’s new protest movement, people offered floral tributes and lit candles as they mourned the death of the person who fell to his death on Saturday after unfurling a large banner to denounce the government’s controversial push to amend the extradition law.

At around 4 pm on Saturday, police received a report about a man wearing a yellow raincoat and standing on the edge of a construction platform at the mall.

As officers and firemen arrived at the scene, the man was seen holding a utility knife with two big banners hung next to him, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.
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Several messages were written on the banners, including “No extradition to China”, “We are not rioters”, “Release the arrested students and the injured”, “Carrie Lam step down” and “Help Hong Kong”.

Although officers from the Police Negotiation Cadre were called to the scene to convince him to move to a safer place, their efforts did not succeed.

After several hours of standoff, the man suddenly climbed out of the bamboo scaffolding sometime after 9 pm, only to be grabbed by firemen by the hand to prevent him from falling.

However, the firemen apparently couldn’t get a proper grip on him, resulting in a situation where the demonstrator fell to the ground, according to reports. 

Appearing to be unconscious, he was rushed to Ruttonjee Hospital by ambulance, where he was pronounced dead at around 9:30 pm.

An investigation led the police to identify the man as a 35-year-old man surnamed Leung, who was unemployed at the time of his death.

Police allegedly found two suicide notes left by him. The case was listed as suicide.

A person who was familiar with Leung was quoted by media as saying that he had been a construction worker and that he had also participated in the 2014 Occupy movement.

Before participating in the mass rally on Sunday afternoon, many people came to the scene and paid tribute for the “sacrifice” he made for the cause of Hong Kong’s freedoms.

Wearing black, mourners left messages, vowing to continue the struggle.

Even after the demonstration, a lot of protesters gathered on the westbound lane of Queensway to mourn for Leung and chant the words that were written on the dead man’s banners.

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TL/BN/RC