11/11/2019, 12.58
HONG KONG - CHINA
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Bishop of Hong Kong: Truth and justice for student who died in clashes

A crowd of Christians gathered at Chater Garden for a prayer meeting in memory of Chow Tsz-lok, the student who died very suspiciously after falling from a parking lot roof. Msgr. Ha Chi-shing calls on the government to create an independent commission of inquiry and ensure justice to society and the family of the deceased.

Hong Kong (AsiaNews) - The Christian community of Hong Kong met today in Chater Garden (central district of the Territory) for a prayer meeting in memory of Chow Tsz-lok, the second-year student of the University of Science and Technology from Hong Kong who died last November 8 while trying to escape from the police. The night between 3 and 4 November, the young man fell from the third to the second floor of a parking lot at Tseung Kuan O, trying to escape the ongoing clashes nearby. He remained in a coma at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, but did not survive.

Meanwhile, clashes between police and protesters continue in Hong Kong today: another young man was wounded by a policeman, shot despite being unarmed. In the streets there were charges by soldiers, tear gas and public property damage. The situation looks set to worsen.

Below we publish the words spoken at the meeting by Msgr. Ha Chi-shing, auxiliary bishop of Hong Kong. An AsiaNews translation from the Chinese of Gong Jiao Bao.

I felt great pain at receiving news of the death of Brother Chow Tsz-lok. This young man, born in 1997 and raised after Hong Kong's return to China, was 22 years old and was a sophomore at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. He was a lively and active guy who liked to read comics and play video games: even his study was going well, he would have had a beautiful and promising future. But all these beautiful things are now only in the past.

Tonight we are here to commemorate him, remember him and pray for him: may our merciful Lord welcome him and let him rest in peace. The anti-extradition movement has reached the fifth month of protest: Chow is the first young man who to be injured and then die during the conflict. But how was he hurt? How and why did he fall off the parking lot? And how and when did the emergency services respond? All this raises great questions among the people.

Death is often a source of pain and sadness, and the sudden death of a young man displeases us and pains us even more. But the death of Brother Chow was also doubtful and suspicious!

The value of life is priceless, we must therefore do our best to defend and protect life, to make people aware of it by calling on them to value and love life. However, we are facing a life, the life of a young man who died in a dubious and suspicious way. It is something that no civilized society can accept, that no person of conscience can accept.

The rector of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology recently sent a letter to the government requesting the establishment of an independent investigative committee on the matter. In civil society, including the police, there are voices calling for a Coroner's Court. We hope that the government will be able to hear these voices and that through the Coroner's Court we can know the truth, render justice, and above all console the broken-hearted family.

The demonstrations have been going on for months now, and we can't even see how it can end in peace. It is a pity that violent incidents continue to occur over time, the level of violence continues to increase, and both sides are moving towards extreme positions. Thus, problems are becoming increasingly difficult to solve. What is visible is a large number of public properties being destroyed, but what is not visible is that countless souls, especially the hearts of young people, are being eroded and tortured.

We hope that Coroner's Court can begin to investigate as soon as possible to find the truth about Chow's death. However, if the entire anti-extradition movement lacks truth and is unclear, I fear that the situation will continue to deteriorate, and we really do not want to see victims again.

The government has repeatedly stated that the IPCC is the most appropriate investigation mechanism, but a member of the IPCC's international expert group has publicly pointed out that the IPCC has no power and capacity to conduct independent investigations. He also believes that the IPCC has not respected the standards of the International Organization.

For this reason, we call on the government to listen to public opinion, establish an independent investigative committee and uncover the whole truth. It would do well to solve this stalemate and let society return to the path of peace.

The Gospel we have just heard contains the last words of Saint Paul written to his disciple Timothy. Perhaps Paul knows he won't have much time, so he says to him: "I fought the good fight, I finished the race, I kept the faith". We don't know why Brother Chow left home and went to the parking lot that night. But he must surely have had a heart that loves Hong Kong and a heart that is willing to contribute to society. So, it can be said he fought the good fight, he finished the race, he kept the faith.

Now let us hand him over to the almighty and merciful God. Brother Tsz-lok, rest in peace!

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