Published: 05th August 2021
University of Hong Kong bars several students from entering campus for sympathising with police attacker
The move is being viewed as part of a continued clampdown by China on pro-democracy protestors in Hong Kong
Several students at the University of Hong Kong have been barred from entering the campus after they attended a student council meeting last month which passed a sympathy motion for a man who killed himself after stabbing a police officer.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, the University of Hong Kong (HKU) council said they had to impose "immediate risk containment measure" in light of the potentially illegal act of the student union council on July 7, when they passed a now-revoked resolution to "express deep sadness" over the death of Leung Kin-fai, Hong Kong Free Press reported.
Though the students apologised, Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam has urged further action. The 50-year-old man stabbed himself in Causeway Bay on July 1 after he knifed a police officer outside the SOGO mall.
The authorities condemned the attack as a "lone-wolf terrorist act," while those who paid tribute to Leung were said to be "glorifying violence." The HKU Council ordered all students who attended the July 7 meeting to be denied access to the campus in Pok Fu Lam, as well as being prohibited from using the facilities and services at the university until further notice.
"The continued presence of the group of HKUSU concerned on campus would pose serious legal and reputational risks to the University and have a negative impact on its other members," the HKU Council said in reference to the Hong Kong University Student Union (HKUSU) students.
On July 9, the HKU student union leadership stepped down, apologised, and withdrew the "seriously inappropriate" motion, after they faced strong criticism from the government. The university management also condemned the student body's decision to "whitewash violence and violent attacks."
China, with the help of local authorities, has been ruling Hong Kong with an iron fist. Authorities have also begun clamping down on pro-democracy activists. As China has strengthened control over Hong Kong through varieties of laws including the draconian National Security Law, the people of the semi-autonomous city are facing increasing policing and crackdown.