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Activists lay sunflowers at memorial site for Hong Kong protester

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By Iris Yuan

HONGKONG (Reuters) – Hong Kong activists on Thursday lay sunflowers and white lilies at a memorial site for a man who fell to his death during recent protests against an extradition bill that has plunged the former British colony into turmoil.

Marco Leung, 35, fell to his death in June after unfurling banners against the now-suspended legislation that would have allowed people to be sent to mainland China for trial.

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam has made rare public apologies over the upheaval caused by the bill, which triggered Hong Kong’s biggest crisis in decades, and on Tuesday said it was dead and the government’s work on it had been a “total failure.”

Her comments did little to appease protesters, who have kept up pressure on Lam, saying nothing less than the bill’s full withdrawal will do. More protests are planned for the weekend.

People of all ages attended the service, at which volunteers offered tissues to mourners and Red Cross workers stood by to provide advice to those in need.

Stress and trauma over the political turmoil have created an unprecedented mental health problem that the city is not equipped to deal with, medical professionals say.

Hong Kong’s youth have been at the forefront of the city’s biggest and most violent protests in decades, with police firing rubber bullets and tear gas in chaotic scenes that grabbed global headlines.

(Reporting By Iris Yuan and Vimvam Tong, Writing by Anne Marie Roantree; Editing by Nick Macfie)

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