Cambridge college weighs revoking Lam's fellowship

Top News | Cissy So 3 Jul 2020

The governing body of a Cambridge University college is considering a proposal to strip Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor of her position as honorary fellow.

Wolfson College president Jane Clarke said Lam's fellowship is being considered because of the enactment of the national security law.

"Wolfson College strongly supports the protection of human rights and the freedom of expression of all its members," Clarke said.

"Accordingly, it is deeply concerned by recent events in Hong Kong following the enactment of the national security law."

Lam was given her honorary fellowship in 2017 and is among 36 fellows who have been awarded it as "persons of distinction whom the college holds in high standing."

Lam is a Wolfson alumna, having completed a program for senior government administrators at Cambridge in 2018.

Groups and individuals have been requesting the college to withdraw Lam's honorary fellowship for two years.

One of the groups - Cambridge-Stands With Hong Kong, formed by Cambridge-based Hongkongers - said: "While we understand that any motion regarding the position of an honorary fellow needs to be passed in the governing council assembly, the process has to be made in haste."

The group also said it is concerned the national security law restricts the freedom of association and academic expression of individuals in Cambridge.

"Participants who have joined a demonstration otherwise lawfully in the United Kingdom may violate the national security law of Hong Kong; academics speaking on panels on topics pertaining to the possibility of independence of Hong Kong, Taiwan, Tibet and Xinjiang, may risk breaching the same law," the group said.

Last November, three members of the House of Lords wrote to the university to call for the withdrawal of Lam's honorary fellowship.

Clarke wrote back that the college had not decided to take any action over Lam's honorary fellowship.

In the same month, about 200 people marched through Cambridge following the college's decision to keep Lam's honorary fellowship.

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