Hong Kong: Disbandment of teachers’ union signals intensifying crackdown on impartial labour corporations

Responding to the disbandment of the Hong Kong Expert Teachers’ Union (HKPTU), which cited “enormous pressure” from the authorities as a aspect in its final decision, the head of Amnesty International’s China team, Joshua Rosenzweig, reported:

“The swift demise of Hong Kong’s biggest teachers’ union in the confront of escalating hostility from the Hong Kong and central Chinese governments illustrates the amount of dread permeating the city’s schooling sector and broader civil society amid a relentless crackdown on dissent.

“This 48-12 months-aged establishment, which represents more than 90% of Hong Kong’s instructors, apparently had no alternative but to stop functions just after schooling authorities severed ties with it last thirty day period amid threats of ‘national security’ investigations and a coordinated smear marketing campaign in Chinese point out media.

“This is the most up-to-date in a troubling sample in which the Hong Kong authorities conveniently heed strident but baseless phone calls focusing on groups or persons in Hong Kong.

“Having proficiently neutralized the political opposition, the Hong Kong and Chinese authorities now show up to be ramping up tries to wipe out civil culture teams that have a robust mobilizing capability – a disturbing improvement for other unions still operating in the city.

“This assault on the HKPTU also highlights the speedily shrinking house for flexibility of expression in Hong Kong’s educational institutions and universities. Hong Kong’s education and learning institutions must not be focused simply mainly because they endorse tutorial liberty.”


The HKPTU these days announced that it would be ending functions in the confront of “enormous pressure” and staying unable to “resolve the crisis [it is] facing”.

On 31 July, Hong Kong’s Instruction Bureau reported it would cease functioning with the HKPTU, accusing it of “spreading political propaganda”. Hours before, articles or blog posts in Chinese point out media experienced attacked the HKPTU, with one particular describing the corporation as a “malignant tumour” needing to be “eradicated”.

Considering the fact that the enactment of the national stability legislation the Hong Kong federal government has been promptly doing away with dissenting voices in educational institutions. The Training Bureau prohibited totally peaceful expressions of political views and activities that it deems to be politically enthusiastic. It banned academics from college for facilitating dialogue similar to freedom of expression. In November 2020, police arrested three learners beneath the nationwide security regulation following they joined a peaceful protest on a university campus.

Considering that the professional-democracy Umbrella Movement protests in 2014, political parties, labour unions, instructional institutions, media, NGOs and others have appear under expanding attack, accused of crossing the “red line” of “endangering China’s sovereignty or security” and foremost to an ambiance of censorship and self-censorship. This approach has vastly accelerated due to the fact the nationwide protection law came into pressure in June 2020.

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