Anglia Ruskin strips Hong Kong lawmaker of honorary degree

Junius Ho, who has been accused of supporting violence against protesters, has honour removed by British university

十月 29, 2019
Hong Kong protests
Source: iStock

A controversial Hong Kong lawmaker who has been accused of making comments that incite violence against protesters has been stripped of his honorary degree by Anglia Ruskin University.

In July, Junius Ho, the pro-Beijing legislator, was recorded calling a group of masked men who allegedly attacked demonstrators with wooden and metal rods in Hong Kong “heroes” and was videoed shaking their hands. Earlier that month, he apparently published photos taken around Hong Kong of several Western citizens, labelling them “US spies”.

After the incidents, a petition was launched that month calling for Anglia Ruskin to revoke his honorary degree.

The petition pointed out that this is not the first time Mr Ho has made controversial comments against protesters: in 2017, he said that demonstrators in Hong Kong should be “killed without mercy” because it was “no big deal to kill pigs or dogs”.

The creator of the petition, who asked to remain anonymous, told Times Higher Education that the degree gave Mr Ho “a credibility that adds weight to his word, endangering those that he calls for violence against”. They added that refusing to take action after Mr Ho was involved in incitement to violence in 2017, the university had been “indirectly an accomplice to the deeds that his followers and supporters perpetrate out of respect for him”. 

In October this year, Mr Ho went on to cause more outrage by telling pro-democracy politician Claudia Mo, who has a British husband, that she “eats foreign sausage” in a parliamentary meeting.

On 26 October, crossbench peer Lord Alton wrote to the university to express his “dismay” that Mr Ho still held an honorary doctorate at the university, when Mr Ho has made “disgusting” remarks comparing homosexuality to bestiality and referred to protesters as “cockroaches”.

In a statement, Anglia Ruskin said it had revoked his honorary degree because the university’s “honorands must be positive role models to our students, alumni and staff, and to the communities we serve”. 

“Mr Ho’s conduct since he was honoured has caused increasing concern.  Following an investigation, the university has withdrawn Mr Ho’s honorary degree,” the statement said.



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