Student union slams CUHK's 'suppression and threats' - RTHK
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Student union slams CUHK's 'suppression and threats'

2021-02-26 HKT 12:15
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  • Student union slams CUHK's 'suppression and threats'
The Student Union of the Chinese University said it is facing “unprecedented suppression” from the institution after management announced they would cut ties with the group.

In a statement issued late on Thursday, the university said it would stop providing administrative support to the union as well as venues for its activities, accusing its new cabinet, Syzygia, of failing to clarify what the institution said were potentially unlawful statements and false allegations, despite repeated warnings.

In its manifesto, Syzygia accused the university of "kowtowing to the regime" and said the Beijing-imposed national security law infringed on basic human rights and freedom.

CUHK said it would stop collecting fees on the union's behalf and require the student body to register as an independent society to assume its own legal responsibility. Members will also be suspended from their ex-officio positions in all university committees.

But in a press conference held in the small hours of Friday, the union described the school’s announcement as “extremely regrettable” and accused it of suppressing student voices.

“We really don’t know what mistakes the 12 of us [cabinet members] have made for the CUHK student union to deserve such threats,” its president-elect, Isaac Lam, said.

He urged the management to respect the union's mandate, saying it had won nearly 4,000 votes from students during an election on Wednesday.

Lam said the cabinet will consider whether to collect union fees by itself, adding that it has yet to consider whether to register as an independent society due to the likelihood that the police would object.

Meanwhile, Owen Au, the president of CUHK's provisional student union, said the group would hand over its power and duties to the new cabinet on March 1 as scheduled, adding that he will support Syzygia unconditionally.