AP Wire Service
HONG KONG (AP) — A prominent teenage leader of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protests ended his hunger strike Saturday after 4 1/2 days at his doctor’s urging.
The decision by Joshua Wong, the movement’s most prominent leader, is the latest sign that the protests are flagging after more than two months as the activists find themselves exhausted and public support for their street protests drains away, while Hong Kong’s government seems content to wait for the movement to fizzle out.
“Even if I stop the hunger strike, it doesn’t mean the government can ignore our demands,” Wong, 18, who had been only drinking water and energy drinks and heads the Scholarism group, said on his Facebook page.
Later, the group said another member, 17-year-old Prince Wong, ended his hunger strike after 118 hours on the advice of doctors and was taken to a hospital.
A third member pulled out earlier in the week, while two others who joined the strike later are still refusing food.
The protesters want Hong Kong’s government to drop restrictions on inaugural 2017 elections for the semiautonomous southern Chinese city’s top leader.
They want the government to restart talks over the electoral reforms, but government officials have been largely unresponsive.
Scholarism is one of three groups behind the protests, which have blocked traffic in three districts across Hong Kong.
One of the protest sites, in the city’s Mong Kok neighborhood, was shut down recently under a court order. Authorities are expected to clear out some barricades from the main protest site outside government headquarters sometime in the next week.
Leaders of a second group, the Hong Kong Federation of Students, representing those studying at colleges, said Thursday that they were considering a retreat from the protest sites and expect to come to a decision soon. (end)