Friday, August 27, 2021

University students and others (including singer-activist Denise Ho) targeted by the Hong Kong authorities

I wonder what Dr Sun Yat-sen (who figures prominently 
on this mural found on a Hong Kong side street) would make of 
In addition, three of Anthony Yung's fellow accused HKU student leaders -- Kinson Cheung King-sang (also 19 years of age), Charles Kwok Wing-ho (20) and Chris Todorovski (18) -- continue to be behind bars as they have been denied bail after the quartet's arrest two Wednesdays ago for allegedly advocating terrorism in a motion they passed as members of the HKU Students' Union Council which expresses deep sadness at the death of Leung Kin-fai, who stabbed a police officer this past July 1st and subsequently committed suicide, offered sympathy and condolences to the deceased's family and friends and spoke of "his sacrifice to Hong Kong".  And separately from the issue of whether the mourning of the death of a man (whose only life taken was his own) can be seriously considered terrorism, it's worth noting that the HKU Student Council had actually withdrawn that statement, apologized for it and resigned over it back on July 9th in the wake of the strong criticism it had received from the Hong Kong government and the university authorities.        
Even before their arrests, I thought that Yung, Cheung, Kwok and Todorovski were being penalized pretty harshly for what could be seen as merely youthful indiscretions.  For example, the quartet and a number of their fellow HKU students were barred by the university from entering the campus and  prohibited from using any university facilities and services (even while officially still students of HKU!).   Also, their union's office had been raided by national security police and the university stated that it was cutting ties with the student union; with the latter action and the barring of the students from campus causing law lecturer Eric Cheung to resign from the HKU Governing Council in protest.  
What makes the actions of those in charge of HKU even more upsetting is that this is the University of Hong Kong we're talking about: Hong Kong's first institution of higher learning and the one still considered by many people to be its premier one (as well as among the top in Asia and even the world).  And the university that happens to be the alma mater of "the father of the Chinese revolutions of the last century", Dr Sun Yat-sen: who, on a 1923 visit to it, delivered a speech that contained the following assertion: "the answer to the question, where did I get my revolutionary ideas: it is entirely in Hong Kong".  
A former HKU professor who recently moved to the University of Toronto, Chris Fraser, recently Tweeted that "HK today has been overrun by vandals who are tearing down civil society."  This was before the national security arrests of four undergraduate students at the Hong Kong university he used to teach but after the bringing down of the Hong Kong Professional Teachers' Union (HKPTU) whose club (i.e., supermarket) had its last day today.  Galileo Cheng was there to witness its closing after 48 years of service and the photos he took there communicate well the sadness as its closure.      
With regards to other civil organizations now under threat: the authorities most definitely are gunning for the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China best known for organizing the June 4th candlelight vigils in Victoria Park and setting up the June 4th Museum to continue mourning and remembering those who died at Tiananmen Square and related locales back on June 4th, 1989.  The crime they're being accused of?  Collusion with foreign forces! 
Here's the thing: while previously it could be argued that all the authorities wanted was to shut the organization down, the examples of Apple Daily and Next Media show that the powers that be now want more than that.  Also witness what's happening with the 612 Humanitarian Fund, with Secretary for Security Chris Tang accusing it today of profiteering by asserting that "I have noticed that this organisation has announced that it will soon disband, but they also told people to donate a huge sum before they disband, do they really have to profit just before disbanding?"      
On a surely unrelated note: One of the 612 Humanitarian Fund's trustees, singer-activist Denise Ho, is coming under scrutiny as an "anti-China activist".   It definitely is not a good sign that Chinese state media have trained their sights on the long-time democracy proponent.  And while it is hoped that, like her friend Anthony Wong Yiu-ming, she will be able to successfully battle the system, I do worry that she will fare less well than he (thus far) has done.  


peppylady (Dora) said...

How does your bail work there? Our is depending on states, some states here is trying to get rid of it.
If your found not guilty do you get your bail money back?
Coffee is on and stay safe

YTSL said...

Hi peppylady --

Good question! Based on what I looked up, one gets one's bail money back after the trial regardless of the verdict in Hong Kong. It's only if you skip bail that you lose that money.

Anonymous said...

Hi There,

I guess I started feeling the Thinkpol is not too far away from us these days. So depressing.


YTSL said...

Hi T --

I know the feeling. I just think we need to guard and make sure we don't overpolice ourselves and consequently do their work for them.