International Academics and University Administrators’ Appeal to the Hong Kong Government:
Stop Police Attacks on University Campuses
November 14, 2019.
We are academics and university administrators at universities around the world. We express serious concerns about recent police attacks of university campuses with tear gas, rubber bullets and lead-bead rounds. Without clear targets of arrest nor search warrants, riot police stationed themselves on and around university property, provoking students with accusations of unlawful assembly. In the case of The Chinese University of Hong Kong, riot police stormed into campus and made arrests. The chaos that ensued have completely disrupted and undermined the functions of universities as sites of open inquiry, freedom of expression, and effective teaching.
We urge the Hong Kong Government to exercise restraint in managing the current crisis, ensuring that the Police follow proper protocol in executing their duties. Universities must have the flexibility
and autonomy to deal with matters of conduct without police intrusion. Police should only enter campuses with search warrants.
We urge student protestors to exercise restraint in expressing their opinions and exercising their freedom of expression. We encourage them to envision non-violent means of communication as much as possible.
We have regarded universities in Hong Kong as global partners in academic and student exchanges. What we witness now is incompatible with our expectations of a world university. We may have to reconsider our partnerships with Hong Kong universities in the future if student’s safety is at risk and such blatant violation of academic and intellectual freedom continues.
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