Five Hong Kong teenagers arrested over death of man during protests

Five Hong Kong teenagers have been arrested in connection with the death of a man after he was hit on the head by a brick during clashes between pro- and anti-government protesters last month, police have said.

The three males and two females, aged 15 to 18. were arrested on Friday on suspicion of murder, rioting and wounding and had been detained pending further investigation, police said in a statement.

The incident occurred in mid-November as the pro-democracy movement was in its fifth month, with hardcore demonstrators engaged in a “blossom everywhere” campaign across the city to stretch police resources.

Footage of the incident showed clashes between protesters and pro-Beijing residents, during which a man was hit by a brick and fell to the ground. The 70-year-old cleaner died the next day. He was the second person in less than a week to die in protest-related incidents.

Alex Chow, a 22-year-old university student, died on 8 November from head injuries sustained during a fall in a multi-storey carpark while police and protesters were clashing.

Although the events leading to his fall are unclear and disputed, protesters have blamed police.

Allegations of police brutality are one of the movement’s rallying cries.

Thousands of Hong Kongers formed long lines to attend a memorial service for Chow on Thursday before his funeral.

Chow’s death was followed three days later by police shooting an unarmed 21-year-old protester in the abdomen, sparking days of unrest that culminated in pitched battles on university campuses.

Hong Kong has been upended by six months of massive pro-democracy protests involving violent clashes between police and hardcore demonstrators, as well as regular transport disruption.

The past three weeks have seen a lull in the violence and vandalism after pro-democracy parties won a landslide in local council elections.

Hong Kong’s leader, Carrie Lam, left for Beijing on Saturday for her first visit to the Chinese capital since her government was handed a crushing defeat in the elections last month, prompting speculation about changes to her leadership team.