Suicide in Hong Kong during the Hong Kong Protest period…






This article originally appeared on VICE ASIA.

The video first showed up on Twitter, and in many ways it’s just like many others from Hong Kong. It showed a young man with bleached hair wearing a face mask being arrested by two officers from the Hong Kong Police Force. The man with blonde hair was in cuffs being led away, when a second protestor run by with a camera and shouted to the arrestee “who are you?” The bleach-haired man then turned and looked into the camera:

“My name is Lee Chun Hin,” he shouted back. “I will not commit suicide!” and then he was struck across the cheek by an officer’s gloved hand.

This so-called “non-suicide declaration” is a new measure of self-defense being employed by Hong Kong protesters. Either before or during arrest, detainees state their names on-camera and declare “I will not commit suicide.” Some have even published statements on their social media profiles or set up automatic emails for family and friends, assuring everyone that if they end up dead, it won’t be voluntary.

One man, a leading figure in the protest movement known among protesters as “Commander,” wrote a non-suicide declaration while leading a mission to rescue protesters trapped inside the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, or PolyU. From inside the university, he wrote his declaration and posted it on social media.

“I want to declare one thing, I want to have a girlfriend before I die,” he wrote. “I will not commit suicide.”

Like many others, Commander was worried that if he got arrested, he wouldn’t again see the light of day, which he believed was very possible. “I am not afraid of going to jail. I am not afraid of being put behind bars or of getting physical with the police.” he said. “But I am afraid of going missing if I am arrested.”

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