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Following a backlash, the University of Hong Kong’s student union council has withdrawn a motion that expressed sadness at a man’s suicide after he stabbed a police officer last week.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.

He said the union had no intention of encouraging illegal acts and it would be careful with its actions in the future.

Kwok added that four executive committee members would also stand down from their posts. He apologised 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 people who were injured on July 1 – including the officer who was stabbed in Causeway Bay.

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.