Even though authorities have used notably restrained and non-lethal methods against protesters up until now, the Hong Kong Police Force's (HKPF) patience may be wearing thin.
Authorities have threatened to use live ammunition against the demonstrators, though they say that level of force is a last resort. "I didn't see any blood from his neck, but he just talked about how he wanted to kill himself. It seems we have two options, but actually we only have one. which is jail", one of the protesters, a mechanical engineering student who gave his name as Matthew, told AFP inside the campus.
The government says about 600 young protesters have left the campus, and some 400 of them who are 18 or older have been arrested.
But Hong Kong Free Press reports police fired tear gas at those who did try to flee and at crowds trying to administer aid to the trapped demonstrators, despite PolyU President Teng Jin-Guang's assurances those trapped inside would be fairly treated upon their surrender.
Last week, hundreds of students barricades themselves on the campus, collecting makeshift weapons including bricks, arrows, and molotov cocktails. She added that 200 others, who were under the age of 18, were allowed to go home after the police collected their personal information.
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Tsang, who with legal scholar Eric Cheung was the first prominent mediator let onto the campus by police, said it was priority to ensure children trapped inside get out first. "This is an unusual way for the National People's Congress Standing Committee to intervene in Hong Kong affairs".
Early on Tuesday, about 20 students accompanied by Tsang left the campus voluntarily, broadcaster RTHK reported on its livestream.
As of early Wednesday, around 100 people are estimated to still be inside the campus' buildings, following days of clashes with police.
Police surrounded the area Sunday, using water cannons, tear gas and heavy vehicles to hold back the protesters in a dramatic escalation of the demonstrations. Although the bill was withdrawn, the protests had broadened into a resistance movement against the territory's government and Beijing.
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A brief weekend appearance on the streets of People's Liberation Army soldiers based at Hong Kong garrison - ostensibly to clean up protesters' debris - fuelled concerns that China is ready to make good on its threats. The panel, perceived to be for those in Hong Kong organizing against China and the current government, sparked protests by pro-China groups.
China's rubber stamp parliament has criticized the Hong Kong high court's ruling to strike down a ban on face masks.
In another ominous signal, China insisted Tuesday it had sole authority to rule on constitutional matters in Hong Kong, which it rules under a special model giving the city greater freedoms than enjoyed on the mainland.
The students are enrolled in partner programs at Hong Kong University, City University of Hong Kong and the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
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Dennis Kwok, a pro-democracy lawmaker, warned that taking away the power of the courts in Hong Kong "will be the end of one country, two systems"- the policy that governs the city.