Kites Rise Higher Against Wind – Statement by the Hong Kong University Students’ Union on The Infringement of Freedom of Expression in Hong Kong

 

Australian Chinese political artist, Badiucho, originally planned to hold an exhibition “Gongle” in Wong Chuk Hang on November 3. In the exhibition, 19 works which are related to political issues such as umbrella movement and the Causeway Bay bookstore incident would be exhibited. Initially, considering the personal safety of Badiucho, the organiser did not arrange for him to come to Hong Kong. Yet, the day before the event, Badiucho claimed that he still received threats from the Chinese government. Eventually, the organiser had no choice but to cancel the exhibition. The Chinese regime has been using different means to suppress freedom of expression. In addition to imprisoning and abusing dissidents in the country, the regime has even carried off Chinese dissidents in foreign countries. It shows that the authoritarian regime is wilfully committing wicked actions, ignoring the law and human rights. The Hong Kong University Students’ Union pledges to oppose all kinds of wilful means to arbitrarily suppress the freedom of expression and hereby condemn the Chinese regime for obliterating the opposition and suppressing the freedom of expression of artists.

In addition, the Chinese writer Ma Jian, who was exiled overseas due to the June 4th incident, was invited to attend two talks at the Hong Kong International Literary Festival to introduce his newly published work “China Dream” as well as to discuss his satirical portrait of China. The two talks were originally held in “Tai Kwun”, which is managed by Jockey Club CPS Limited. On November 7, “Tai Kwun” suddenly announced the cancellation of two talks as “they don’t wish Tai Kwun to become a platform for any individuals to promote his or her political interests.” Such political censorship undoubtedly stifles the voices of dissidents and the freedom of expression of literary authors, hinders the development of Hong Kong literature, and ironically protects and promotes the political interests of the Chinese Communist Party. “Tai Kwun” claims to provide a platform for a “continually expanding cultural discourse in Hong Kong”, yet they unreasonably prohibited a literary writer from telling the development of literature. Later, Timothy Calnin, Direction of Tai Kwun, announced that the talks will be held as scheduled, considering that Ma Jian did not use “Tai Kwun” as a platform to promote personal political interests. The Hong Kong University Students’ Union emphasises that freedom of speech of writers shall be protected for any type of work, no matter if it is related to politics. The Hong Kong University Students’ Union hereby condemns the explanation and obstruction of Jockey Club CPS Limited. We simultaneously appeal that any organisation shall not draw back from fear, and they shall think twice about the negative impacts brought to Hong Kong when they try to please the Chinese Communist Party.

People are born equal. Freedom of expression is a basic right and it is in no way to be arbitrarily infringed. Pointing out the problems of the government is beneficial for social development. The Hong Kong University Students’ Union solemnly urges people to insist on voicing out for justice despite the violent suppression of the regime.

The Hong Kong University Students’ Union

12th November 2018