HONG KONG | the announcement of The dismissal of academic Benny Tai, a figure of the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong, raised Wednesday, excitement and anger in the ex-british colony, the authorities being accused of renouncing the academic freedoms under pressure from Beijing.
Professor of law, 56-year-old announced that he had been sacked by a disciplinary committee of the University of Hong Kong (HKU), after having been incarcerated in the past year for his role in the “Movement umbrellas”.
This engagement in the entire pacific had been crippled in 2014 the former british colony for 79 days and aroused the ire of Beijing.
He stated Wednesday on Facebook that he was going to make a call, while calling also the head of the executive Carrie Lam, who is appointed by Beijing.
“I know that it is a process that is futile, but Carrie Lam can not shirk its responsibilities in the erosion of academic freedom in Hong Kong”, said Mr Tai, accusing Beijing of having influenced the decision of the university.
Mr. Tai is a prominent figure of the camp, pro-democracy, lawyer and tireless non-violence. It is often the object of violent criticism of the chinese authorities.
The liaison Office, which represents the chinese government in the semi-autonomous region, was released Tuesday night in a news release welcoming his dismissal and presenting him as a person “evil”.
“Martyr of disobedience”
Her dismissal has sparked consternation in a city that has seen seven months of protest unprecedented influence of china, and which Beijing has just imposed a new law on national security to be very controversial.
“Benny Tai became a martyr of the civil disobedience,” said Joseph Chan, a professor of political science at the HKU on his page Facebook.
“The University of Hong Kong has sacrificed his reputation and not be able to keep the head high within the academic community worldwide”, he added in speaking of a “huge stain” in the history of the university.
Sophie Richardson, a specialist of China within the organization Human Rights Watch, has estimated that the universities of the world should now review their relations with the HKU.
“It is time to take the word in the face of this scandal”, she said to the address of the universities.
“Beijing is now the academic freedom of hong kong”, has gazouillé his side Joshua Wong, the figure of the “Movement Umbrellas”.
The HKU still hasn’t released a statement explaining the dismissal of Benny Tai, nor responded to requests for clarification of the AFP.
Benny Tai was one of the founders in 2013 of the movement “Occupy Central”. He had been sentenced in April 2019 to 16 months in prison for his responsibility in the “Movement umbrellas” in a trial that saw the prosecution use of a system of law rarely used, and inherited from the colonial era.
Most recently, he was one of the organizers of the elections in light of the September legislative by the camp, pro-democracy, to which 600 000 hong Kong people took part.
The liaison Office had considered these primary illegal under the new law on the security and accused “the gang” Benny Tai,” which was organized to seek to cause a “revolution”.