Leading University of Hong Kong fired its law professor Benny Tai for a criminal conviction for his role in 2014. In protests for democracy.
Mr 56, who has accused the University of Hong Kong (HKU) of yielding to Beijing’s pressure, said the decision was an “end to academic freedom”.
Mr. It was one of the founders of the “umbrella protests” that had paralyzed Hong Kong’s business districts for weeks.
Last year, the court sentenced him to 16 months in prison for his role.
He was granted bail in August, pending an appeal.
2014 The protests, which were largely peaceful, lasted more than 70 days as people took to the streets to demand democracy.
The decision of the University Board to dismiss Mr. It contradicts an earlier resolution of its Senate that states that although It committed misconduct, there was insufficient reason to dismiss him.
According to local media, 18 university committee members voted in favor of its removal, two against.
If he wanted to appeal the decision, he would have to visit through the university’s chancellor, Hong Kong’s chief executive, Carrie Lam, or a judicial review, the South China Morning Post reports.
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In a Facebook post, Mr Tai said: “Academics in Hong Kong educational institutions are no longer free to make contradictory statements to the general public about politically or socially controversial issues.”
He decided to dismiss him “not from the University of Hong Kong, but from the authorities outside the university through its representatives,” he said, adding: “I am sincerely surprised by the collapse of my beloved university.”
The university said in a statement that it “resolved the staffing issue related to the lecturer” after “a rigorous and impartial due process”.
Meanwhile, the Hong Kong-Beijing Liaison Office, representing the Beijing government in Hong Kong, welcomed his removal, saying: “Hong Kong University’s decision to shoot Benny is a move that punishes evil and praises virtues.”
Chinese state media have accused him of collusion with foreign forces and described him as a “serious troublemaker.”
The university’s decision comes a few weeks after the city passed a controversial security law that gives China more power there.
The law criminalizes secession, enslavement and conspiracy with foreign forces, but critics say the terms are vaguely defined and the law effectively restricts Hong Kong’s freedoms.
There are also reports in the local media that the elections to the Hong Kong Parliament – the Legislative Council – may be postponed for one year. News releases HK01, the Hong Kong Economic Times and TVB said the government had made a decision, which has yet to be officially announced due to coronavirus concerns.
The Hong Kong-Beijing liaison office accused Mr Tai of trying to start a revolution. Earlier this month, he helped organize the basics of the opposition, which attracted hundreds of thousands of voters.