HKU lifts campus ban on 18 students over cop-stabber motion

The University of Hong Kong has lifted a campus ban on 18 student unionists over a motion expressing sympathy to a cop stabber.

The ban, which was passed on August 4, stopped 44 members of the student council from entering the campus or using its facilities and services.

In a statement, the university said after getting in touch with students to better understand their role and manner of participation in the matter, it has decided to revoke the ban for 18 of them.

“Having considered the available information and assessed the risks, the University has decided not to subject 18 of the 44 students concerned to the risk mitigating measure,” the statement read.

It wrote that “the University hopes that the students will reflect deeply upon their words and deeds, abide by the law and uphold their social and ethical obligations.”

The statement also added that the other student leaders would be updated on management decisions soon.

At a meeting on July 7, the students passed a motion to express “deep sadness” and gratitude for the “sacrifice” of 50-year-old Leung Kin-fai, who knifed a police constable in Causeway Bay before killing himself on July 1.

Among them, 30 voted in favor of the motion and two abstained, with the university council ruling that the students’ motion might have breached the national security law.

Four HKU students, including the president of the student union and its council chairman, were earlier charged with “advocating terrorism,” a charge under the national security law.

The four – Kinson Cheung King-sang, 19, Kwok Wing-ho, 20, Chris Shing-hang Todorovski, 18, and Yung Chung-hei, 19, were the first in Hong Kong to be charged with the offense, which carries a sentence of five to 10 years.

Yung was the only one granted bail after appearing at the West Kowloon Court in August. The prosecution then challenged the decision and took the case to the High Court.

After hearing arguments from the defence and the prosecution, national security judge Esther Toh Lye-ping said she believed the student “would not continue to commit acts endangering national security” while on bail.

The student was released on bail totaling HK$150,000. He is not allowed to leave Hong Kong, give any media interviews, take up executive roles on student bodies, contact foreign officials or organize activities against the SAR or central governments.

The group will appear in court for mention on September 14.

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