University of Hong Kong (HKU) fired a law professor in connection with his role in the 2014 pro-democracy protests.

BBC reported that HKU dismissed Benny Tai after a court sentenced him to 16 months in prison for his role.

However, Tai received his sentence last year.

He has been on bail since August last year.

Conversely, the university’s ruling came weeks after the passing of the controversial security law. 

This gives China more powers in the former British colony.

The peaceful 2014 protests lasted for more than 70 days as people took to the streets to call for democracy.

An Unappealing Urge To Appeal

The 56-year-old law professor may still appeal, seeing as he is going through the university’s chancellor, which is Hong Kong Chief Executive, Carrie Lam.

Lam supports Beijing.

His other choice is to go through a judicial review, said a South China Morning Post report.

According to local media, a 20-member committee voted on Tai’s case.

18 members of the university’s committee voted to remove him, while two went against.


End Of Academic Freedom

Ta accused HKU of bowing to pressure from Beijing and said the ruling was “the end of academic freedom”.

Tai was one of the founders of the “umbrella protests.”

The protest paralyzed Hong Kong’s business districts for weeks.

In his Facebook post, Tai said:

“Academic staff in education institutions in Hong Kong are no longer free.

(It can no longer) make controversial statements to the general public about politically or socially controversial matters.”

Tai believed the decision was “made not by the University of Hong Kong but by an authority beyond the University through its agents.

He added:

“I am heartbroken to witness the demise of my beloved university.”

The university said in a statement: 

“(We) resolved a personnel issue concerning a teaching staff member” after a “stringent and impartial due process”.


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