University students in Hong Kong are being forced to take courses on the security law imposed on the island by the Chinese communist regime and to learn about the consequences of not obeying it, according to a Reuters report.
According to the report, the courses, which were given even under surveillance of a security camera in the rooms, warned about the dangers that could be faced by those who try to break the law.
According to Reuters, four of Hong Kong’s eight publicly funded universities have begun to implement these courses, via lectures, seminars or talks, as a requirement for students to graduate.
Among those mentioned by the media are the Baptist University, the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU), Lingnan University and the Hong Kong University of Education. While the Hong Kong Metropolitan University, which does not receive state funding, said it will start the courses, but did not specify when.
The controversial “National Security Law” imposed by Beijing in Hong Kong and in force since June 30, 2020, provides for the creation of a security force acting directly under the orders of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
It is used by the Chinese regime to persecute political dissent and undermine the freedom of Hong Kongers. Anyone suspected of committing crimes punishable under the law is tried under illegal or dubious legal proceedings.
The law defines as punishable offenses: “secession, subversion, organization and perpetration of terrorist activities, and collusion with a foreign country or external elements to endanger national security”, i.e. anything that the CCP considers to be against its interests or a threat to the regime, even when it is not “illlegal”, such as censoring free speech or pro democratic voices.
According to Reuters, “Hong Kong’s own national security law, imposed by Beijing last year, stipulates that national security must be taught in schools and universities”.
Earlier this year, Hong Kong’s Secretary for Education, Kevin Yeung, announced that higher education institutions were required to incorporate national security content into their curricula.
He also stated that from next year, Hong Kong universities would be required to fly the Chinese flag every day.
The CCP is leading the island to the same totalitarian schemes it imposes in China, where it penetrated and controls every area of Chinese citizens’ lives, from education, religion (despite being an atheist regime), entertainment, etc.
The regime strives to extinguish every flame of pro-democratic resistance, and in this sense it sees universities as ‘the culprits’ for training leaders who organize protests against the communist regime, such as those that took place in 2019, which ended with 4000 students arrested, according to police reports.
Unions and student groups were forced to disband as their leaders were arrested, and six pro-democracy academics were reportedly forced to resign from their jobs.
The courses imposed in Hong Kong universities include the history of Hong Kong and China, describe the 66 articles of the national security law and also encourage students to increase patriotic sentiment for China and its communist ideals.
Katrin Kinzelbach, a political scientist at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg (Germany) who has conducted extensive studies on educational freedom worldwide said, Academic freedom means you may study and teach what you are interested in. It also means the freedom to not engage in particular classes.”
But it is worth mentioning that this is applicable in the free world, and is not to be expected in a totalitarian regime such as that of the Communist Party of China, where the people have been left with no choice but to abide by what the regime imposes on them, or suffer serious consequences.