Uni chiefs condemn 'abuse' of freedom of speech - RTHK
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Uni chiefs condemn 'abuse' of freedom of speech

2017-09-15 HKT 19:32
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  • Hong Kong independence banners and posters went up last week at the territory's universities. File photo: RTHK
    Hong Kong independence banners and posters went up last week at the territory's universities. File photo: RTHK
The heads of all 10 universities in the city have said they don't support the advocacy of Hong Kong independence because it violates the Basic Law.

In a joint statement, they condemned what they called the “abuse” of the city’s freedom of expression in recent days, after banners and posters promoting the idea of independence sprung up on university campuses.

“We treasure freedom of expression but we condemn its recent abuses. Freedom of expression is not absolute, and like all freedoms it comes with responsibilities,” the brief statement said.

The universities’ responses to the independence materials have varied somewhat over the past two weeks.

The president of Lingnan University, Leonard Cheng, said on Wednesday that it was fine for students to debate the idea of independence. He also made it clear that officials were not responsible for removing a poster referring to the independence row from a union-controlled notice board.

On Friday, the vice-chancellor of the Chinese University warned that the institution would take action to rip down items advocating independence if the student union didn’t do so itself in areas it manages.

However, the Chinese University's student union responded by warning that it would guard the banners to prevent their removal. It said it intended to protect freedom of speech.

The president of the students' union, Justin Au, criticised the Chinese University for not talking to students first about the banners, and accused Professor Sung of self-censorship.

Last updated: 2017-09-15 HKT 22:25