The City University of Hong Kong will set up a committee to look into the recent damage to the campus “democracy wall” message board as well as a pro-democracy statue.
On Tuesday, a man ripped off anti-extradition bill messages on the university’s message board, and toppled the nearby Goddess of Democracy statue.
The man wearing a black t-shirt tried to leave but was apprehended by others. He was later arrested by the police on suspicion of criminal damage.
The man was a mainland Chinese graduate of the university, according to unnamed sources cited in a Sing Tao Daily report.
The City University said on Thursday that said it was concerned about the incident and will investigate. The announcement was issued by Vice-President (Student Affairs) Horace Ip and Vice-President (Administration) Sunny Lee, saying that formal complaints had been received.
“The University once again urges staff, students and members of all sectors to exercise restraint and hold rational discussions,” it said.
The university’s student union also condemned the damage.
The statue has since been erected again and the union said it has contacted the artist who made the statue in the hopes of repairing it.
Posted by 香港電台視像新聞 RTHK VNEWS on Tuesday, 23 July 2019
“The Goddess of Democracy is the student union’s property, and the democracy wall is run by the student union. We will seek responsibility over the damage,” the student union said in a statement.
“Although the statue was damaged, the spirit of democracy and freedom will not die,” it added.
The extradition bill would allow the city to handle case-by-case fugitive transfers to jurisdictions with no prior arrangements, including China. Critics have said residents would be at risk of extradition to the mainland, which lacks human rights protections. Chief Executive Carrie Lam has declared the bill “dead,” but did not enact any mechanism to withdraw it.
Hong Kong protesters have made five demands during recent protests against the government. The demands include a complete withdrawal of the now-suspended bill, a retraction of the “riot” characterisation of the June 12 protests, an independent investigation into police behaviour and an unconditional release of all arrested protesters. They also called for a disbanding of the legislature and implementation of universal suffrage.