Date
28 May 2017
HKU council chairman Arthur Li (inset) is escorted by police after a siege by student protesters left him and vice chancellor Peter Mathieson stranded inside a building for four hours. Photos: RTHK, Apple Daily
HKU council chairman Arthur Li (inset) is escorted by police after a siege by student protesters left him and vice chancellor Peter Mathieson stranded inside a building for four hours. Photos: RTHK, Apple Daily

Student siege leaves top HKU officials stranded for four hours

Student protesters clashed with police and left top officials of the University of Hong Kong (HKU) stranded inside a building for four hours after a meeting of its governing council.

Trapped in the melee were vice chancellor Peter Mathieson and Arthur Li, who had just presided over his first council meeting since being appointed chairman on Jan. 1.

More than 200 students broke through police barricades and surrounded the entrance to the building.

Council member Leonie Ki was taken to hospital feeling unwell, Ming Pao Daily reports. 

A female employee was injured when she tripped on a step near the besieged area and was whisked away in an ambulance

Police stood by as the protesters gathered outside the building hours before the meeting Tuesday, demanding faster reform in the governing body.

They accused the council of dragging its feet after learning it had decided to wait for the findings of the University Grants Committee on a system-wide governance reform which could take a few months, the report said, citing a protest organizer. 

Also, the council reportedly agreed to set up its own review panel but did not spell out its responsibilities or set a timetable.  

The protesters allowed most of the council members to leave the building but forced Mathieson and Li back inside, demanding to be heard.

Council member Eric Cheung returned and tried to talk Li into meeting the protesters.

Cheung said a review panel will discuss the students’ demands, as well as a proposed task force to oversee council reform.

It includes a proposal to curb the power of the chief executive, the nominal head of Hong Kong’s tertiary institutions, to appoint HKU council members.

HKU said Li had left the building by 1 a.m. Wednesday and Mathieson half an hour later after promising to meet the students in 10 days.

(Cantonese only)

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