A member of the University of Hong Kong’s (HKU) governing Council, Leonie Ki Man-fung, testified on Tuesday that she felt like she was being “held hostage” by students protesters during a council meeting protest in January.

Ki said at the Eastern Magistrates’ Courts that she was pushed and surrounded by a group of more than 100 people who “came from all directions.” She added that she was “frightened” and worried that she might be stepped upon if she fell, as the floor was wet and slippery.

Ki also said she felt her life was threatened. She added that someone kicked or bumped into the back of her knee, while someone shouted “make her dive.” The Cantonese term for “dive” is commonly used to describe football players falling to the ground and feigning an injury.

leonie ki man-fung
Leonie Ki Man-fung.

Ki said she was “grateful” that local newspaper Oriental Daily filmed the situation, because otherwise “no one would know, even if I died.”

Ki also mentioned that she felt “nauseous and dizzy” and was unable to get on the stretcher, adding that she could “hardly move a step” as crowds kept on pushing her back.

Colman Li Fung-kei, the former student union external vice-president of HKU, was charged for allegedly blocking an ambulance carrying Ki on January 26 at the Sassoon Road campus. He denied the charge of obstructing a public officer to lawfully engage in public duty.

leonie ki man-fung
Leonie Ki Man-fung surrounded by protesters.

Meanwhile, Billy Fung, then the student union president, pleaded guilty to criminal damage and forcible entry, but pleaded not guilty to criminal intimidation.

Senior Security Manager of the Estates Office, Teddy Wong, said he agreed with the defence team that the students did not want to injure the council members, which is one of the reasons why no one was hurt. He added: “I believe, even if HKU students are very verbally abusive, they will not hurt others physically.”

Colman Li Fung-kei
Colman Li Fung-kei; Ambulance blocked by protesters. /Stand News.

In January, students surrounded the venue of a Council meeting chaired by Arthur Li Kwok-cheung, and demanded the Council respond to their four demands to reform its structure. Before the protest, students started a week-long class boycott as a result of Li’s controversial appointment.

Koel Chu is a second-year journalism and fine arts student at the University of Hong Kong. Born and raised in Hong Kong, Koel is interested in the arts and urban design. She interned at China Radio International in Beijing and, at her university, she also works as Vice-President of Branding and Marketing in AIESEC, the largest youth-run organisation in the world.