Law Lecturer Quits Hong Kong University Council Over Union Ban

Radio Free Asia reports…

A law lecturer at the University of Hong Kong on Thursday resigned from its governing body in protest after the university management cut off ties with the student union and banned former committee members from campus.

The university said it was taking back facilities previously used by the union and cutting off ties with it over a motion commemorating a man who stabbed a police officer outside Sogo department store before killing himself.

The motion was later retracted and the committee members apologized and resigned, but all those who attended a July 7 committee meeting that made the statement have since been barred from the university.

Law lecturer Eric Cheung said on Thursday he had resigned from HKU’s governing council, dismissing the university’s claim that the statement had posed “legal risks.”

“I really don’t think there were any legal risks,” he said. “So the students did something, which may or may not constitute a crime, but at any rate they haven’t been charged with anything yet.”

“In the past, if students were involved in a criminal case, then that was their business.”

“Why are they stripping away their right to be students?” Cheung told local media.

The council said on Wednesday that students who attended the July 7 meeting would be barred from its premises, services, and facilities.

On July 1, 50-year-old Leung Kin-fai stabbed himself to death after knifing a policeman outside the Sogo department store.

Officials have warned that anyone visibly mourning or sympathizing with his death could be breaking the national security law, and are treating the incident as a terrorist attack.

The union passed a motion on July 7 saying it “appreciated [Leung’s] sacrifice.”