September 11, 2017
Over 250 scholars have signed a petition expressing “strong indignation” at pro-Beijing lawmaker Junius Ho’s calls to remove Occupy leader Benny Tai from his teaching position at the University of Hong Kong. The petition says that Ho’s move was “unfair and biased.”
The petition came after Ho submitted a petition of more than 80,000 signatures urging the University of Hong Kong to investigate Tai, threatening public rallies and legal action should the school fail to act. Ho previously said it was contradictory for Tai to advocate for the spirit of civil disobedience while teaching students about defending the rule of law.
The initiators of the scholars’ petition said that academic freedom and freedom of speech are the cornerstones of a healthy society. They said that Ho’s demands to dismiss Tai may create enormous pressure for Tai and other scholars whose views differ from those in power, causing them to be unable to express their views without fear.