The Home Affairs Department is said to have suggested that Scholarism, which played an active role in the pro-democracy protests last year, be kept away from an upcoming district youth seminar.
The department made the suggestion as it fears that the student group may embarrass the government with its comments, Apple Daily reported.
Prince Wong Ji-yuet, spokeswoman of Scholarism, posted a statement on Facebook saying that she was originally invited to host a seminar titled “The Youth’s views on Democracy”, during which ideas were to be exchanged on social reforms and functions of different means of protests.
She said she had accepted the invitation as the Home Affairs Department initially appeared to be welcoming different voices.
However, an official later suggested to the organizer that the discussion topics be amended and that Wong should be replaced as a speaker in order to prevent her from speaking about Mainland-Hong Kong conflicts and causing embarrassment to the government, according to her.
The seminar in North District, which is one of the activities in a youth development project called Northern Lights, is aimed at enhancing the involvement of youth in social affairs.
Wong criticized the government for apparently putting Scholarism on a “blacklist”. The incident shows that the government is narrow-minded and that it doesn’t want to give a platform to political opponents or allow rational discussions, she said.
“Now the government even eradicates academic forums,” she said.
Translation by Charis Heung
– Contact us at [email protected]