Benny Tai Yiu-ting was sentenced in April to 16 months in prison but released in August pending appeal. The University of Hong Kong, where he is a law professor, is looking into the possibility of terminating his employment. Also, Shiu Ka-chun was terminated from his teaching position at Baptist University in Hong Kong where he was the Associate Director of the Centre for Youth Research and Practice.
February 18, 2020
Roland Chin Tai-Hong
President, Hong Kong Baptist University
Email: email@example.com | firstname.lastname@example.org
President, The University of Hong Kong
The University of Hong Kong
Tel: (852) 2859 2100
Fax: (852) 2858 9435
Dear Presidents Roland Chin Tai-Hong and Xiang Zhang,
The Committee of Concerned Scientists is an independent organization of scientists, physicians, engineers and scholars devoted to the protection and advancement of human rights and scientific freedom for colleagues all over the world.
We write to express our concerns for Shiu Ka-chun and Benny Tai Yiu-ting.
In January, Shiu Ka-chun was relieved of his teaching position at Baptist University in Hong Kong, where he also serves as the Associate Director of the Centre for Youth Research and Practice. Shiu is currently appealing an April 9, 2019 conviction based on his role in the Occupy protests five years earlier in 2014, which was given as the reason for the suspension of his teaching responsibilities.
Benny Tai Yiu-ting was sentenced in April to 16 months in prison for his part in the 2014 demonstrations, but released in August pending his appeal. The University of Hong Kong, where he is a law professor, is reportedly looking into the possibility of terminating his employment.
As fellow scholars and academics, we believe that academic freedom is vital to the functioning of a free society, and the right to freely express one’s beliefs (including peaceful participation public protests) is a fundamental human right that academic institutions must protect. The importance of protecting these freedoms and rights in Hong Kong cannot be overstated.
We urge you to restore Shiu Ka-chun to his full teaching duties, and refrain from conducting damaging investigations into both men while their appeals are still in progress.
Thank you for your attention and willingness to help in this most important matter.
Joel L. Lebowitz, Paul H. Plotz, Walter Reich, Eugene M. Chudnovsky, Alexander Greer
Co-Chairs, Committee of Concerned Scientists