Hong Kong university to extend suspension of classes over violence

Hong Kong University of Science and Technology announced Sunday that classes will continue to be suspended on Monday due to damages of the campus by violent protesters.

The university said in a statement that the campus suffered massive, malicious vandalism on Friday, with many facilities damaged and spray-painted, and classes have to be canceled for repair on Monday.

The decision followed a half-day suspension in Friday afternoon, when the commencement, classes and other activities were called off after a student died in the morning of severe brain injury from falling at a car park.

A large group of masked, black-clad rioters went on a rampage at the campus in the name of mourning for the dead student on Friday afternoon. Hundreds of them besieged the home of Wei Shyy, president of the university, spray-painted the door and pasted slogans on the wall. Some smashed glass windows and broke the door lock.

Rioters broke into a closed Starbucks store and trashed food cabinets and cash registers. A restaurant of Maxim’s Caterers and an outlet of Bank of China were also destroyed. Some used a fire hydrant to shoot water into the bank.

The university said it was saddened that the unrest came into the campus, which made many faculties and students worried about their personal safety, and called for calmness and restraint as violence cannot solve any problems but only cause even bigger harm. Violent incidents were on the rise in the university.

A mainland student surnamed Zheng was provoked, surrounded and bitterly beaten up by black-clad radicals at a forum designed to fix splits on Wednesday. He was also robbed of his wallet and identity card.

“A large crowd of people were beating him. We dare not go there to rescue him, neither the security guards nor officials of the university. Police were not allowed to enter the campus. No one could help us,” a mainland student at the scene told media.

“We could only look at those shaking black umbrellas (used by attackers to cover the violent acts),” the student said.

Many mainland students reportedly have fled Hong Kong in fear of being attacked by radicals. Hong Kong universities have become more deeply involved in the prolonged turmoil. -Xinhua

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