The University of Hong Kong (HKU) said on Wednesday that it will lodge a complaint with the police over the presence of some law enforcement personnel on its campus in violation of rules.
In a statement it said it was concerned about news that some police officers had entered the HKU premises and were inside the campus for several minutes.
Police showing up on the campus uninvited is a matter of concern, HKU said, referring to a purported incident that took place in the wee hours of July 17.
The statement came after a video clip surfaced online that showed three uniformed officers wandering within the HKU campus during the night.
In the clip posted on the Facebook page of the HKU anti-extradition bill concern group, the police officers could be seen outside a building where the office of the HKU students’ union is located.
The officers – one male and two females -- don’t enter any rooms but spend a few minutes within the premises before taking an escalator that leads to the MTR Station close by.
The incident is said to have taken place at around 1 am on Wednesday.
A HKU security guard was also seen in the clip walking by without saying anything to the officers.
The university claimed in its statement that its security staff “immediately questioned why [the police officers] were there in violation of existing protocol.”
The officers apparently failed to give a satisfactory answer, prompting the HKU to “follow up with a formal complaint”.
Zhang Xiang, president and vice-chancellor of HKU, had earlier promised students that police enforcing laws on campus without a warrant would not be permitted under any circumstances.
In response to media inquiries, the police confirmed the uninvited entry, saying that some officers from the Western Division of the force had entered the university premises while on patrol.
Explanations have been offered to HKU, the police said, adding that it will follow up on the matter seriously.
Under the agreement between HKU and police, the school is charge of the daily on-campus security and police assistance will be sought only when necessary.
A HKU spokesperson revealed that the commander of the local police division has, in a reply letter, offered an apology for what happened, along with a promise that a similar thing will not happen again.
Jordan Pang Ka-ho, acting chair of the current affairs committee of HKU students’ union council, and Davin Kenneth Wong, acting president of the union, dismissed the police’s defense that the officers were only passing by, calling it unacceptable.
Pang said the union does not rule out lodging a separate protest with the police, while trying to determine the substance of the university’s complaint.
Zhang will meet with students, alumni and staff members at a President’s Forum event that has been scheduled for Thursday evening.
During the event, he will exchange views on recent events in the city.
The meeting was initiated by the University Affairs Committee of the HKU students’ union council to follow up on the university head’s dialogue with students last Friday.
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