Hong Kong teens charged with murder over death of man hit by brick during protest

HONG KONG: Hong Kong police charged on Wednesday (Apr 22) two teenagers with murder over the death of an elderly man in a clash between rival protesters during the city’s political unrest last year.

Luo Chang-qing died in November when pro-democracy supporters and government loyalists started hurling bricks at each other in the border town of Sheung Shui.

The fight was one of dozens that broke out between ideological opponents during the seven straight months of pro-democracy protests that upended the city.

Luo, 70, died from a blow to the head.

Local media reported at the time that he had been filming a fight between the two sides on his mobile phone.

On Wednesday police said they had charged two boys, aged 16 and 17, for his murder.

“The two were jointly charged with murder, wounding with intent and rioting,” a police spokesman told reporters.

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Even though they are minors, the teens face up to life in prison if convicted.

Hong Kong’s protests were sparked by an attempt to allow extradition to China’s opaque justice system but soon morphed into a popular revolt against Beijing’s rule.

Millions of people took to the streets to protest for greater democratic rights and the demonstrations had often ended with violent clashes between protesters and police.

Fights often broke out between protesters and groups of government loyalists, with beatings and street brawls common.

More than 7,800 people have been arrested – nearly 40 per cent of them were students.

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