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1552200cookie-checkUniversity Of Queensland Student Faces Expulsion For Supporting Hong Kong, Criticizing Chinese Government
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University Of Queensland Student Faces Expulsion For Supporting Hong Kong, Criticizing Chinese Government

University of Queensland student Drew Pavlou has managed to stir up the hornet’s nest by being a firm advocate and activist for freedom… in particular, the freedom for those residing in Hong Kong. His activism managed to agitate the administration of the University of Queensland, especially given the supplies and promotion of the Hong Kong protests around campus, and his criticism of the administration for being proponents of the Chinese state party. His “vexatious” behavior ended up netting him expulsion from the university.

The news was shared via a tweet on social media that garnered more than 3.2 thousand retweets and 5.2 thousand likes.

Pavlou explained his situation in a brief letter shared via an image in the tweet on April 14th, 2020.

If you’re unable to read the message, it states…

“Hey everyone,

“It is with a heavy heart I inform you that the University of Queensland will be considering my expulsion on April 27th before a secret hearing.

“The night I delivered 250 free hampers filled with supplies to UQ students in need, I received a confidential 200 page booklet of allegations against me, many involving complaints about my public criticisms of the Vice-Chancellor, the growing corporatization of the university, as well as my criticism of the university’s links to the Chinese Communist Party and my support for Hong Kong.

“On top of these core complaints, the booklet of allegations has been padded out with multiple vexatious and frivolous complaints regarding some of my satirical online posts. It’s my belief that such vexatious complaints mask the true nature of the hearing, an attempt to punish me for publicly airing my political beliefs and challenging the university’s unethical dealings with corporations as well as dictatorships like the Chinese state.

“It unfortunately fits into a long pattern of hostility by the university in their relations with me as a student. When I was assaulted on campus by supporters of the Chinese government in July, UQ focused on trying to block my attempt to hold a rally condemning the violence rather than protecting me. When Xu Jie, Brisbane’s PRC Consul General and an honorary professor at UQ, endorsed the violence against me, UQ refused to dismiss him from his post at the university.

“I will continue to fight this but, for now, it’s really not looking good. As someone with a long history of dealing with severe depression (a condition UQ knows about), this attempt by my university to intimidate me into silence has had a tremendously negative impact on my mental health. For now, I’m trying to rest up and prepare for the hearing.”

There’s an overwhelming amount of support on social media for Pavlou, since he has established quite the following online.

Said support has also extended to a petition over on, where students are trying to rally others to help fight against Pavlou’s expulsion at the University of Queensland.

The creator of the petition attempted to appeal to the morally repugnant behavior of the university and the authoritarians trying to silence those in support of the Hong Kong protestors, writing…

“If Drew is silenced by our university, then what message does that send to institutions of all shapes and sizes worldwide? What precedent does it set to allow UQ to silence a contrary voice in Australia? Even if you are from a far distant land, there is no doubt that this injustice is the same as many that are relevant to you, and solidarity must not stop at borders for justice is a universal ideal.”

At the time of writing this article, the petition has garnered a little under 6,000 signatures.

This kind of pro-Chinese Communist Party sentiment and rallies from administrative branches to censor dissent has been growing in recent times. Most often these kind of censorship measures against private citizens takes place under wraps, or as Pavlou mentioned, secret tribunals and hearings. However, since he was alerted to the school’s machinations, he was able to broadcast what was being plotted against him in secret.

Whether or not the petition or social media rallying will have an effect on the hearings set to take place on April 27th remain to be seen, but at least Pavlou is making it known that he isn’t going down without a fight.

(Thanks for the news tip Ebicentre)

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