HONG KONG • Hong Kong protesters have rallied behind a young woman who suffered an eye injury on Sunday night in anti-government protests, with some of the demonstrators at Hong Kong airport yesterday putting up posters and writing graffiti that included the term "an eye for an eye".
The demonstrators also chanted "return the eye".
The police have been accused of causing the injury by firing a bean-bag round.
Rumours also circulated that the woman has lost her vision.
Senior Superintendent Li Kwai Wah of the Organised Crime and Triad Bureau said at a police conference yesterday that it was not clear what really happened as there are many versions of Sunday's incident which left the woman injured.
He added that an investigation into the case has begun, even though the injured woman has not lodged a police report.
China's state-run Global Times newspaper on Monday quoted an unnamed former senior police officer as saying that it was "technically impossible" for the police to shoot anyone in the eye. The location of the injury "is not within the scope of the police shooting", a source told the newspaper.
In images that quickly went viral, the unnamed woman was seen lying on a pavement in Tsim Sha Tsui with her face covered in blood. Other photographs also showed what looked like a beanbag round lodged in a pair of goggles said to be found next to her.
The woman underwent surgery at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Yau Ma Tei in the early hours of Monday after emergency treatment at the scene.
Citing hospital sources, Chinese-language newspaper Ming Pao said her right eyeball was ruptured, and her right eyelid and maxilla were also broken.
"I can confirm her injury is really serious," the South China Morning Post quoted a doctor at the hospital as saying.
A commentator at online forum LIHKG, who claimed to be the woman's younger sister, said the injured right eye was swollen to the size of "an egg".
"There was a long cut from the inner corner of the right eye to just under eye. Stitches were done late at night," according to the message that was posted on Monday morning.
"The doctor said the injury was serious and bones near the area which was shot were all fractured."
The commentator also claimed that the injured woman was at a bus station and was not acting aggressively. The woman was allegedly shot when she looked out between the advertising panels at the station.