Benny Tai: It's the end of academic freedom in Hong Kong

Hong Kong (AsiaNews) – As expected, Hong Kong University’s governing council fired Prof Benny Tai for misconduct after he was convicted of leading the Occupy Central movement, it has been reported.

The decision has not yet been officially announced, but on Facebook, Benny Tai posted a comment in which he describes his sacking as the “end of academia freedom in Hong Kong".

Undaunted, the pro-democracy leader went on to say that he would continue to fight for the rule of law in the territory, now threatened by the new security law that Beijing has imposed on the people of Hong Kong. Benny Tai's statement follows:

The decision to terminate my appointment was made not by the University of Hong Kong but by an authority beyond the University through its agents.

It marks the end of academic freedom in Hong Kong. Academic staff in education institutions in Hong Kong are no longer free to make controversial statements to the general public about politically or socially controversial matters. Academic institutions in Hong Kong cannot protect their members from internal and outside interferences.

If there is still any doubt of the advancement of “One Country, One System” in the territory, my case should be able to remove it.

I am very grateful to the University of Hong Kong for nurturing me as a law student, a law teacher, a legal researcher and a guardian of the rule of law. I am heart-broken to witness the demise of my beloved university.

Yet, I will continue my research and teaching on the rule of law in another capacity. My fight for Hong Kong’s rule of law also will not stop.

I have the confidence to see the rebirth of a free HKU in the future.