The current student leader is meeting the management of the University of Hong Kong over the arrest of its former student union president, who is suspected of criminal intimidation, criminal damage, and forcible entry in connection with an HKU governing council meeting in January.

Althea Suen Hiu-nam, the incumbent president, said she would be meeting with the chairperson of a crisis management team from the university around noon on Thursday, after the team held a meeting about the incident.

Suen said on a RTHK programme Thursday morning that she will ask school management about the information they gave to the police and the communication between the two parties, “to see whether they would provide more evidence [to the police] – of course I hope they would not do that.”

Althea Suen and Billy Fung.

Billy Fung Jing-en, former student union president at the University of Hong Kong, was arrested on Wednesday night in connection with a chaotic HKU governing council meeting in January. At the time, students surrounded the first council meeting chaired by Arthur Li Kwok-cheung, whose appointment stirred controversy.

The university’s vice-chancellor Peter Mathieson described the incident at the time as “mob rule” and said “video images were recorded and will be made available to the police.”

Suen said she wants to find out through the meeting exactly what was given to the police by the school, as students do not know what happened leading up to Fung’s arrest.

“I will also ask them to review whether there was anything that was not handled well enough in this incident,” she said.

Arthur Li being surrounded in January.

She said the school management took a “tough” stance right after the clashes in January.

“I hope the school can re-consider whether the nature of the incident was ‘mob rule’ as described – I cannot agree with that,” she said. “The incident was caused by students fighting for institutional autonomy – was it appropriate to give the matter to the police to handle, was it a responsible act on the school’s part? I have my doubts.”

She added that she hoped there will not be more students being arrested for the incident.

Aside from Fung’s arrest, five regional crime unit officers also visited the home of Colman Li Fung-kei, the former student union vice-president, to ask him to help with investigations into the events in January.

Li posted on Facebook that he was abroad at the moment and has asked his lawyer to handle the matter.

Fung has posted bail for HK$10,000 and will appear in court on Friday morning.

Kris Cheng

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.