HKU student union withdraws sympathy motion - RTHK
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HKU student union withdraws sympathy motion

2021-07-09 HKT 08:57
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  • HKU student union withdraws sympathy motion
Following a backlash, the University of Hong Kong's student union council has withdrawn a motion that expressed sadness over the death of a man who stabbed a police officer last week.

At a press briefing in the small hours of Friday morning, the union's head Kwok Wing-ho apologised for the motion. He said the motion, to "appreciate [the suspect's] sacrifice to Hong Kong", contained "seriously inappropriate" content.

"The union council is deeply distressed by the extremely inappropriate content in the motion of condolence passed on July 7 to Mr Leung Kin-fai," Kwok said.

"The union, as a servant to HKU students, does not promote unlawful behaviour. The union acknowledged the severity of the event, and would remain cautious about its responsibilities to students, to the university and to society," he added.

Kwok added that four executive committee members would also stand down from their posts. He also expressed his "deepest apologies" to the students who had voted for them.

Meanwhile, three associations under the union have distanced themselves from the union council, saying they "have and will remain politically neutral".

The cultural, sports and independent clubs associations said in a statement that they condemned all forms of violence, and felt sorry for the officer who was stabbed in Causeway Bay on July 1.

They said all of their representatives had resigned from the council after the motion was passed on a Wednesday meeting.

"Some representatives of Clubs Associations were absent and did not participate in the voting process, while the remaining representatives would like to apologise for their failure to be politically neutral due to a misunderstanding," they said.

The students' response came after Arthur Li, who chairs the institution's governing council, reportedly said he would welcome a national security probe into the student union council, and the university would see whether the council members should be expelled.

A pro-government group called Politihk also reported the student group to the police on Thursday, saying it had incited terrorist attacks by praising the man who knifed an officer before killing himself.