[UPDATE: Thursday, August 8 - 6.25pm]
The lawyer representing Hong Kong Baptist University Student Union President Keith Fong Chung-yin has confirmed that the student has been released by the police force. No charges were laid against him at this time.
The police has stated that they will address the situation in more detail at their daily press conference at 4pm on Friday.
Committees of over 40 Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU) school clubs and societies boycotted the school’s Registration Day, which was meant to be held at the school’s Academic and Administrative Building’s third and fourth floors, as announced by the University’s Students' Union (SU) 52nd Acting President Ken Lui Lok-hei.
Hundreds of students wearing black tops organised a silent sit-in outside the Academic Registry.
This was in response to University President Roland T Chin’s refusal to condemn the police arrest of SU President Keith Fong Chung-yin for possession of laser pointers at the solidarity rally held for Fong at the University’s Jockey Club Courtyard.
Fong was arrested and charged with possession of offensive weapons on Ap Liu Street, Sham Shui Po on Tuesday evening. Police said Fong may be released on bail after he has completed his treatment at Caritas Medical Centre, where he had been taken after complaining about feeling unwell on Tuesday.
The police force referred to these pointers as “laser guns” powerful enough to burn a hole in a sheet of paper from a short distance in 10 seconds yesterday. Laser pointers were also used by some anti-extradition bill protesters to distract police and citizens from taking pictures.
The boycott, a reaction to Chin’s “deeply disappointing” response, prevented some first-year students from signing up for academic and interest societies and clubs, registering for orientation activities and camps, as well as participating in residential hall tours.
“[At the public forum], Chin not only refused to condemn [the police] for their abuse of power, but also failed to make actual promises [to call for the release of Fong]. This puts the [SU] President’s safety at risk and increases the chance of him being imprisoned,” reads the boycott statement published by SU on social media platforms, including Facebook and Instagram.
The boycott, however, did not affect student registration at the University’s Academic Registry (AR), according to the latest post on the HKBU Freshman Info Facebook page.
The post added that first-years who failed to register in person could notify the AR via email and “will not lose out on their place at university”.
For enquiries on student registration, students can contact the University’s Admissions Office or Undergraduate Studies Section via phone or email. The former can be reached at 3411 2200 and the latter at 3411 7847.
The administrator of the Facebook page HKBU Secrets, a platform for HKBU alumni and current students to express opinions and exchange information, also announced that their service to facilitate the exchange of advice on subject registration had been suspended.
“I am indignant because Principal Chin has been overcautious [in expressing his views] and has failed to fulfil his responsibilities as a school principal throughout the anti-extradition bill movement… Please email Roland T Chin if you have any enquiries,” wrote the administrator.