Auckland University student cops abuse after dispute at Hong Kong protest

11:49 am on 3 August 2019

An Auckland University student involved in a dispute with pro-Beijing supporters says she has been receiving abusive messages online.

University of Auckland

University of Auckland Photo: 123RF

Tensions around Hong Kong independence have been increasing since a now shelved extradition bill to China was first proposed.

Auckland University and police are still investigating the altercation after one pro-Hong Kong activist was pushed to the ground at a demonstration.

Serena Lee, 27, was involved in the argument and said while she had received a lot of messages of support, she had also been targeted.

"I'm worried, not only [for] myself but also anyone who speaks up for themselves, especially regarding the extradition bill in Hong Kong or their opinion about the Hong Kong-China relationship," she said.

After the incident, the Chinese consulate general issued a statement criticising some media reports of the clash, saying some were unfair and untrue.

It said while it praised some students' words and acts of patriotism and the love for Hong Kong, it opposes separatist acts.

Ms Lee said she was not fazed by the response.

"I'm not surprised that they made that comment because they have made similar [responses before]," she said.

Ms Lee is now organising a discussion next Tuesday for fellow students to express their views on the bill.

She said she wanted all students to be able to freely talk about their opinions, no matter what side of the argument they were on.

Auckland University said it was in talks with the organisers of the discussion on how to best manage it to ensure the safety of everyone at the event.

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