lørdag 10. juli 2021

Hong Kong: How Academic Freedom Ends

Last month, a group of University of Hong Kong academics gathered on the third floor of the campus’s Jockey Club Tower for a highly anticipated town hall. Nearly a year had passed since Beijing imposed a new security law on Hong Kong, arresting dozens of people, reengineering the territory’s voting system, and seizing the assets of a publicly listed company linked to activists. Staff members at the prestigious university, the city’s oldest, were seeking reassurance about how this new reality would change the school, its research, and their jobs.

The takeaway, one of those in attendance told me, was that “help is not on the way.” By the time of the meeting, the university had severed ties with its students’ union, issuing a scathing statement against the group that read like party-speak from Beijing; torn down colorful walls of protest art along a main thoroughfare; and instituted a heavy security presence on campus.