Hong Kong pro-democracy professor fired for 'doing evil'

The founders of the Occupy Central movement handed themselves in to police as part of authorities' investigation into the 2014 mass rallies

Despite his outspoken views against the govenrment, Tai held a role as a professor within the University of Hong Kong's law department since 1991.

The law, which Beijing alleges is necessary to protect national security, was prompted by further protests a year ago against proposed legislation that would have seen criminal suspects extradited to the Chinese mainland to face trial.

"Though I know this is a futile process, Carrie Lam can not evade. her responsibility of infringing Hong Kong's academic freedom", Tai wrote, accusing Beijing of influencing the decision.

He is often the target of vitriolic statements from China's government.

Tai was among those who organised the recent primaries to select a pro-democratic candidate for the upcoming Hong Kong legislative elections.

This photo dated May 23, 2011 shows the Loke Yew Hall of the University of Hong Kong.

University chiefs had launched a disciplinary investigation after Tai was released from a 16-month jail sentence past year.

Earlier, in light of the judgement of the courts, the University acted in accordance with the University of Hong Kong Ordinance to initiate the Procedures for Termination of Appointment for "Good Cause" regarding the staff member concerned.

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Lawyers said if Tai wins his appeal against his criminal conviction, the HKU council decision may be reviewed.

According to local media, 18 members of the university's committee voted for his removal, with two against.

Having served on the law faculty of HKU - his alma mater - for 30 years, Tai said he would continue his research and teaching in another capacity.

The choice to fire him was "made not by the University of Hong Kong but by an authority beyond the University through its agents", he stated, including "I am heartbroken to witness the demise of my beloved university". His sacking comes shortly after China passed a sweeping new national security law that critics see as a bid to repress all dissent in Hong Kong, which has enjoyed a certain degree of autonomy since being handed back to Beijing by Britain in 1997.

Beijing and the Hong Kong government have said the law will not affect rights and freedoms, and that it is needed to plug security loopholes.

Without mentioning Tai by name, the university said in a statement that it reached the decision "through a proper and lengthy process", but one prominent pro-democracy observer warned on Wednesday that "without a free and independent" group of academic institutions, Hong Kong would "degenerate into a second rate city".

But Beijing has made no secret of its desire to overhaul schools and universities which it believes were partly responsible for the huge and often violent democracy protests that broke out previous year. Beijing has called for patriotic education and the new controversial law has already led to some books being removed from libraries and schools.

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