A member of the Hong Kong University Alumni Concern Group, former legislator Audrey Eu, on Thursday criticised the university's Vice-chancellor, Peter Mathieson, over his decision to handover the video footage of Tuesday’s protests by students to the police.
She said Mathieson should be siding with the students, who are worried about the institution's autonomy.
Eu said the deans and senior lecturers who students trust should reach out to them and try to resolve the issue. She said the students have some legitimate concerns and they should not treated like mobs and criminals.
The protesting students had blocked members of the university's governing body - the University of Hong Kong Council - for hours demanding that its new chairman, Arthur Li, come out and meet them.
Mathieson said the students’ behaviour had put the safety of council members at serious risk. The Western District Crime Squad is following up on the case after a couple of doors and a guard post were damaged in the chaos. Mathieson had said the video footage of the protests taken by surveillance cameras would be made available to the police.
Meanwhile the Chief Secretary, Carrie Lam, said as a Hong Kong University graduate, it was distressing for her to see the rowdy protest. She said such a behaviour is far from acceptable in a civilised society.
The demonstration on Tuesday came after students and academics claimed that the autonomy and academic independence of the university was under threat from government interference.
They said the Chief Executive CY Leung's appointment of Li, who is an Executive Councillor and a former education secretary, to head the council was yet another example of this.
Last year, Li played a leading role in blocking the appointment of pro-democracy academic, Johannes Chan, to the post of pro-vice-chancellor at the university.
Last updated: 2016-01-28 HKT 17:18