Hong Kong Student’s Death Triggers Fresh Outrage

Students of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) participate in a march towards HKUST president Wei Shyy’s lodge in Hong Kong on November 8, 2019, following the death earlier in the day of student Alex Chow, 22, who was taken unconscious to hospital early on November 4 following late-night clashes between police and protesters.
Philip FONG / AFP

 

A Hong Kong student who sustained head injuries when he fell during clashes with police died on Friday, triggering a fresh wave of outrage from the pro-democracy movement and fears of more violent unrest.

Although the precise chain of events leading to 22-year-old Alex Chow’s fall are unclear and disputed, his death is the first student fatality during five months of demonstrations.

Protesters, who allege police tactics contributed to Chow dying, responded to his death with calls for Friday night vigils across the city as well as further rallies over the weekend.

“Today we mourn the loss of a freedom fighter in Hong Kong,” Joshua Wong, a prominent pro-democracy campaigner, said on Twitter.

“We will not leave anyone behind – what we start together, we finish together. Given the losses suffered by Hong Kong society in the past month, the government must pay the price.”

Online forums used by the largely anonymous and leaderless protest movement also quickly filled up with the calls for vigils to mourn Chow’s death.

Chow was taken to hospital early on Monday morning following clashes between police and protesters in the middle-class district of Tseung Kwan O.

He was certified dead by the hospital on Friday morning after failing to emerge from a coma.

He had been found lying unconscious in a pool of blood inside a multi-storey car park that police had fired tear gas towards.

Protesters had been hurling objects from the building, in the type of confrontation that has become routine in late-night rallies over recent months.

Police acknowledged that tear gas had been used to disperse protesters near the car park where Chow fell on Sunday night.

But they denied any wrongdoing, saying their use of tear gas was justified and rejecting other allegations of hindering Chow’s rescue.

“The police did not hinder any fire services officers, ambulance responders or ambulance at all from taking the injured to leave the scene,” a police spokeswoman said this week.

In a short statement, the Hong Kong government expressed “great sorrow and regret” on Friday over Chow’s death.

It did not comment on the specific circumstances that led to him dying, other than to say police were investigating.

‘Eliminate Disorder’

In Beijing, foreign affairs ministry Geng Shuang declined to comment directly when asked about Chow’s death.

“This isn’t a diplomatic question so I suggest you ask the relevant government department. I will just say this: stopping the violence, eliminating disorder, and restoring order is Hong Kong’s most urgent task,” Geng told reporters.

Chow was a student at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

The college held its graduation ceremony Friday morning, and university head Wei Shyy paused the proceedings to announce Chow’s death.

After the ceremony was cut short, hundreds of students gathered to mourn Chow’s passing and condemn what they described as police brutality.

“Hindering rescuers is attempted murder!” Student chanted as they marched in the campus.

Millions of people have taken to Hong Kong’s streets since June in the greatest challenge to China’s rule of the city since its handover from the British in 1997.

China governs Hong Kong under a special “one country, two systems” framework that is meant to give the city more freedoms and liberties than on the mainland.

But public anger has been building for years over a belief that Beijing is eroding those freedoms, especially since President Xi Jinping came to power.

The protests were triggered by a government effort to introduce a law allowing extraditions of criminal suspects to mainland China.

Hong Kong’s government belatedly withdrew the plans but not before the protest movement escalated into wider calls for democracy.

Protesters are demanding fully free elections to choose the city’s leader, as well as an investigation into alleged abuses by police.

Court Awards N25m To Student Who Became Blind After Being Flogged By Teacher

 

A Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja has ordered the proprietress of Cendom International Nursery and Primary School, Olodi-Apapa, Lagos, Mrs Uche Owen, to pay N25 million as damages to a 5-year-old pupil of the school, Destiny Kalu who became blind after he was flogged for not paying school fees.

Destiny had through his father, Inyima Kalu, dragged Mrs Owen and his class teacher, Miss Uduak Sam before the court in 2013 for flogging and inflicting severe injuries to his right eyes over non-payment of school fees.

In his statement of claim, Destiny alleged that on June 20, 2011, Mrs Owen came to his classroom and flogged all the pupils that had not paid their school fees.
He stated that the proprietress further instructed their class teacher, Miss Uduak to flog them severely.

Destiny claimed that while being flogged, his right eye was covered with blood as a result of cane injury inflicted on him by the teacher.

He said the incident left him in pains and tears for several hours unattended to in the schooI premises.

Destiny further claimed that his class teacher neglected him as he bled internally and water gushed out of his right eye all through the school hours, until he was picked up at the close of school by his father after every staff of the school had abandoned him and gone home.

Destiny was subsequently taken to Ajeromi General Hospital Lagos where he was treated and later referred to Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH)
At LUTH, the right eye was operated on without success. Doctor’s report revealed that Destiny’s right eye was permanently damaged and cannot perceive light as a result of severe internal damage.

Following the permanent injury sustained by Destiny, his father demanded N30 million as compensation from the school.

In her statement to the Nigeria Police after the incident, Miss Uduak admitted that she punished the infant by caning him on the instruction of the principal, Mrs Owen.

However, in her statement of defence, Uduak claimed that Destiny may have sustained the injury on his right eye during a fight with another pupil in the school.
The proprietress also denied being responsible for the injuries sustained by Destiny.

Delivering judgment in the matter after six years of trial, Justice Yetunde Idowu held the two defendants liable for the permenant injury.

Justice Idowu held that the defendants owe a duty of care to Destiny but breached that duty by flogging and inflicting injury on him.

She said: “Caning a child for non-payment of fees is not only wrongful but illegal. It is trite and universally accepted that caning a child does not have positive effect. Flogging is an abuse of a child and domestic violence against a child. It should be discouraged completely as it is contrary to all known best practices and unacceptable.

“The child was under the custody of the 1st Defendant, in her school premises. The 1st and 2nd Defendants, the owner of the school and the class teacher owe a duty of care to the child. The duty of care was breached when the 2nd Defendant on the instruction of the 1st Defendant engaged in flogging the child.

“Vicarious liability basically means that employers are liable for the torts of their employees, committed during the course of employment. A tort is a wrongful act or an infringement of a right (other than under contract) leading to legal liability.

“Damages in the sum of N25 million is awarded in favour of the infant suing by the next of kin.”

Vigils Held In Australia For Murdered Israeli Student

The slain student, Aiia Maasarwe. Credit: BBC/Instagram

 

Hundreds of Australians dressed in black gathered in Melbourne on the steps of Victorian state parliament late Friday for a silent vigil in memory of murdered Israeli student Aiia Maasarwe.

The 21-year-old was killed on the way home from a comedy show in Melbourne just after midnight Tuesday.

Her body was found in bushes near a tram stop by passers-by several hours later on Wednesday morning.

“It’s a sad reason that we are here today,” one man attending the vigil told Channel Seven TV news. “To sit and stand in anger for what has happened.”

A woman holding back tears at the event said: “It’s just so sad, she seemed like such a lovely girl.”

Attendees will later fill the 86 tram, which Maasarwe was believed to have ridden on her way home, with red roses that were reportedly her favourite flowers.

Maasarwe’s father Saeed, visited the crime scene Friday, where dozens of flowers and messages from the public have been left nearby in support.

“I feel very very sad from one side, but from another side, when I get this support and this help — from the people, from the community, from the police — it makes the suffering to feel a little better,” he told reporters.

“This is the last place, my daughter… was here,” he added, breaking down in tears. “I want to be with her for more time, but someone decided I cannot be.”

Maasarwe was killed in a late-night attack while she was speaking on the phone with her sister.

Police, who have described the attack as “horrific”, arrested a 20-year-old man in the outer suburbs of Melbourne on Friday in connection to the murder.

“Homicide Squad detectives have arrested a man as part of the ongoing investigation into the death of Aiia Maasarwe,” Victoria Police said in a statement.

Campaigners have called for an end to the “epidemic of violence against women” in the city.

Some of the vigil organisers were the ones who had arranged a similar tribute for Eurydice Dixon, a 22-year-old local comedian who was killed in a Melbourne park last year as she was going home.

“We’re as angry as we were last time,” organiser Jessamy Gleeson told Melbourne’s Herald Sun on Friday, adding more needed to be done to keep women safe.

“We shouldn’t have these one-off vigils. There needs to be continued engagement and conversation about violence against women.”

Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison took to Twitter on Friday, calling the crime “an incredibly shocking, despicable and tragic attack”.

“My heart goes out to Aiia’s family and friends and everyone whose life she touched.”

AFP

Student Killed While On Phone With Sister

Aiia Maasarwe. Credit: BBC/Instagram

 

An Israeli student has been killed in a late-night attack in Australia while she was speaking on the phone with her sister, police said Thursday.

Police appealed to the public for help tracking down the killer of 21-year-old Aiia Maasarwe, whose body was found early Wednesday near the campus of the Melbourne University where she was studying.

“This was a horrendous, horrific attack inflicted on a completely innocent young woman who was a visitor to our city,” Detective Inspector Andrew Stamper told reporters in Melbourne Thursday.

Maasarwe, who was reportedly five months into a year-long exchange at Melbourne’s LaTrobe University, was riding a tram home from a comedy club to the suburb of Bundoora before she was met by her attacker around midnight.

She was talking on the phone with her sister, who was overseas and raised the alarm after something went awry mid-conversation, police said.

“(Her sister) heard the sound of the phone falling to the ground and heard some voices,” Stamper said.

Her body was found Wednesday morning by passers-by at 7:00 am about 50 meters (165 feet) from the stop where she exited the tram.

Stamper said the report from her sister came in at about the same time.

Police would not confirm reports they were investigating a sexual assault but said known sex offenders are an “active line of inquiry”.

Officers retrieved a black baseball cap and a grey t-shirt they believe were worn by the perpetrator from the crime scene, which they described as “very distressing”.

The victim’s family, who are on their way to Australia, described Maasarwe as “happy”, “adventurous” and “smart”.

“I was in shock, I couldn’t believe it… the day before my wife had said to me, ‘We’ll have to go to Australia, Australia’s very safe, very nice’,” the victim’s uncle Rame Maasarwe told national broadcaster ABC from the United States.

“We cannot believe that something like this happened in Australia, we think it’s very safe there.”

Maasarwe was reportedly planning to go to China to work with her father’s business after her studies.

Police said they were “confident” of finding the perpetrator.

AFP

Female Student Expelled From Varsity For Hugging Male Friend

A female student hugs her male colleague. Credit: @ganobi

 

Egypt’s Al-Azhar university on Sunday said it had expelled a female student after she appeared in a video hugging a male colleague, accusing her of undermining the school’s reputation.

The video, which went viral earlier this month, showed a young man carrying a bouquet of flowers kneeling before a young woman and then hugging her in what appeared to be a marriage proposal.

The video was apparently not filmed at Al-Azhar — a branch of Egypt’s highest Sunni Muslim authority — but at another establishment, Mansoura University in the country’s north.

Nevertheless the disciplinary council of the Al-Azhar University campus in Mansoura on Saturday “decided to expel the young girl definitively”, university spokesman Ahmed Zarie told AFP.

He said the video had caused a “public outcry” and that the university’s decision to expel her was because she had presented a “bad image” of Al-Azhar University, which strictly segregates the genders.

He said hugging between unmarried men and women violates “the values and principles of society”.

The woman, however, can appeal the expulsion decision, Zarie said.

The young man who appeared in the video could also face sanctions, a spokesman for Mansoura University said, adding that the school’s disciplinary council will meet on Monday to decide his “punishment”.

Egypt, a predominantly Muslim country, is a largely conservative society.

Last year, prosecutors detained a female singer for four days for “incitement to debauchery” after an online video clip which included sensual oriental dances and suggestive gestures went viral.

And in 2017 another female pop singer was sentenced to two years in prison on similar charges, also over a video deemed provocative. Her sentence was reduced to a year on appeal.

AFP

UAE Court Sentences Student To Life For Spying

 

A United Arab Emirates court sentenced British student Matthew Hedges to life in jail on Wednesday after convicting him of spying, a family spokesperson said. 

“We can confirm that he was sentenced to life in prison,” the spokesperson told AFP.

“The hearing lasted less than five minutes, and his lawyer was not present.”

Hedges, a 31-year-old Ph.D. student, was researching the UAE’s foreign and internal security policies after the Arab Spring revolutions of 2011 when he was detained at Dubai airport on May 5.

AFP

Two Students Shot Dead In DR Congo Protest

File photo

Two students died this week after being shot during protests at a university in Democratic Republic of Congo, and a police officer has been arrested, the city’s police chief said on Friday.

The students “lost their lives following injuries caused by bullets” Monday in capital Kinshasa, police chief General Sylvano Kasongo said in a statement.

The victims had attended a demonstration against a two-month strike by professors who demand that the head of the university be elected by peers.

Police cracked down on a further protest Friday, student witnesses told AFP.

Kasongo urged the students to remain calm and said those responsible for the shootings would “answer for their acts according to the law.

“The police officer who fired Monday at one of the students who died has been detained and will face a military hearing,” he said.

Higher education minister Steve Mbikayi wrote on Twitter: “Live ammunition is outlawed on university sites. I demand an exemplary punishment for the police officers responsible for firing the fatal shots.”

He added that talks between professors and the government led to an agreement Thursday concerning their dispute.

Professor Antoine Kitombole told AFP the faculty demanded enforcement of a law that allows them to elect the head of the university, “a measure that minister Mbikayi is blocking.”

AFP

UAE Charges Student With Spying

A handout picture released by the family  Matthew Hedges, a 31-year-old Ph.D. student who was researching the UAE’s foreign and internal security policies after the Arab Spring revolutions, was stopped at Dubai Airport on May 5. Photo: DETAINED IN DUBAI / AFP

 

The United Arab Emirates has charged a British Ph.D. student with spying in the Gulf country, as his wife on Tuesday called on Britain to defend his innocence.  

Matthew Hedges stands accused of “spying for a foreign country, jeopardizing the military, political and economic security of the state”, UAE attorney general Hamad al-Shamsi said late Monday.

The 31-year-old, who was researching the UAE’s foreign and internal security policies after the 2011 Arab Spring revolutions, was detained at Dubai airport on May 5.

Hedges’ wife Daniela Tejada said Tuesday he has been “held in an undisclosed location in the UAE in solitary confinement” with limited access to the consulate and his family as well as no access to a lawyer until last week.

She said Hedges had been told last week he “was being charged with gathering information and sharing it with a foreign agency – the UK Government”.

Tejada called on the British government to “clarify publically that Matt is innocent of the charges and that there have been many falsehoods said about him”.

“This horrifying situation has been going on for far too long,” she said.

Britain’s foreign office said it was supporting Hedges and his family and had been “in close contact with the local authorities”, a spokesperson said.

British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt told AFP last week he was “very worried” about Hedges’ fate.

“I’ve spoken to the Emirati foreign minister twice now on this matter face to face so they are very aware of our concerns and we are monitoring it very closely,” he said.

The charges against Hedges are based on evidence from investigations carried out by the public prosecution, according to the attorney general.

Hedges had been posing as a researcher to cover his activities, he said, adding that the accusations were backed by “information taken from his electronic devices”.

Tejada, who has visited her husband once and spoken to him on the phone several times, told AFP last week her husband “simply isn’t guilty of anything”.

“He was just doing academic research,” she said, adding that his research involved only open source material.

“He’s not disclosed anything… classified or confidential,” she said, adding that Hedges had lived in the UAE for “several years” before he returned to Britain in 2015.

AFP

PHOTOS: Police Flood Panseke Over MAPOLY Students’ Protest

The Ogun State Police Command has deployed personnel to forestall any breakdown of law and order by some students in Abeokuta, the state capital.

This comes amid series of protests by students of the Moshood Abiola Polytechnic (MAPOLY) over the delay in the conduct of examinations since September.

READ ALSO: MAPOLY Students’ Protest: Police Take Over Panseke

While the students claim the demonstration has been staged peacefully, police officers and patrol vehicles were stationed on Wednesday at strategic places, including Panseke where students were said to have been meeting.

Academic activities at MAPOLY have been grounded for the past three months following a faceoff between the state government and members of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) in the institution.

The lingering disagreement between the government and lecturers of the institution is reported to be a fallout of the relocation of the institution to Ipokia, also in Ogun State.

See photos below;

Student Killed In Suspected Cult Clash

Student Killed In Suspected Cult Clash
Ekiti State map. Photo: ekitistate.gov.ng

A yet to be identified man but believed to be a student of the Ekiti State University (EKSU) has been reported killed by suspected cultists in Ado Ekiti, the state capital.

The man was said to have been hacked to death with a machete at Osekita area of Iworoko-Ekiti in what some witnesses claimed was a clash of two rival cult groups.

Channels Television also gathered that the victim was allegedly shot several times before he was hacked to death.

The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Mr Alberto Adeyemi, confirmed the killing as a clash of rival cultists.

Adeyemi, a Superintendent of Police, said men of the State Police Command got wind of the clash but “by the time our men got there, they had macheted him to death.”

He said police have begun an investigation into the killing and would soon arrest the culprits and bring them to justice.

But the body of the victim was reportedly left on the road after he was killed; a development some locals said might lead to reprisals and pandemonium in the community.

One of the students living in the community said, “at about 7:30 pm (Tuesday), we began to hear the gunshots and a pandemonium followed.”

“What we learned was that it was an ambush on the victim. His assailants caught up with him on his way and shot him after which they dealt him machete blows in his head. We are now living in fear because there may be reprisals.”

Police Arrest Soldier, Student For Armed Robbery

Police Arrest Suspected Cultists, Others In Rivers

The police in Oyo State has paraded 42 suspects for various criminal offences including armed robbery, kidnapping, burglary, theft and buying stolen goods.

Among those paraded was a soldier, a student of the Oke Ogun Polytechnic, Saki and a 50-year-old suspected ritualist.

The arrested soldier, Abubakar Isiaka claims that he left his Division 1, Nigerian Army Base, Maiduguri on Absent Without Leave (AWOL) for fear of being killed by insurgents. He was arrested while waiting to deliver a stolen vehicle to another member of a robbery syndicate.

READ ALSO: Police Arraign 22 Osun Secondary School Pupils In Court

Isiaka said before his arrest, he specialises in providing escort service in his military uniform to a gang of car snatchers whenever they want to deliver any stolen car to prospective buyers.

The arrested student, Adedigba Elisha was paraded for stealing motorcycles when parked by unsuspecting victims at football viewing centres. 15 motorcycles were recovered from him and he was paraded alongside his accomplice who buys the items from him.

Also, a 50-year-old man, Mukaila Adewale who said he went to exhume the skull of one of his relatives for money ritual was paraded.

The State Commissioner of Police, Abiodun Odude speaking at the Eleyele Headquarters of the Command, assured residents of maximum security measure throughout the year especially as the end of the year is approaching.

 

 

Student Shoots Two Dead In School

 

A young student at a private school in Brazil shot dead two other children and wounded four more Friday, the emergency services said.

There were conflicting reports from the authorities about the ages of those involved.

All the victims were 12 or 13 years old, police and the fire department in the central city of Goiana said initially.

However, police investigators told AFP that the suspected shooter, who was arrested, was 14 and that students shot could be anywhere from 11 to 16.

Speaking on Globo television, a police officer said the assailant was the son of a policeman and that the pistol used was police-issue.

Local media reported that the boy had been bullied.

“At break time, he took the gun out of his bag and began shooting,” an unidentified witness was quoted as saying by G1 news site. “Then everyone began to run.”

The bloodshed in the state of Goias was a shock in Brazil, where student-on-student shootings of the kind common in the United States are unusual.

However, the country is one of the most violent in the world, recording nearly 60,000 homicides a year. Among the frequent victims are children hit by stray bullets in tightly packed favela slum neighborhoods or while in school.

Cassio Almeida de Rosa, who works with the Brazilian Public Security Forum in studying violence, said “what’s noteworthy” was the access to a firearm at home in this case.

Earlier this month, a security guard reportedly suffering from mental illness deliberately set fire to a nursery school, killing himself, nine children and a teacher.

About 40 people were injured in the blaze at the nursery school in Janauba, a small town about 370 miles (600 km) from the state capital of Minas Gerais.

AFP