Student groups have slammed an advert on the University Career Connect website that aimed to recruit graduates to the Hong Kong Police Force (HKPF).
Sheffield stands with Hong Kong, a local pro-democracy student organisation who started a petition against the advert which received hundreds of signatures, told Forge Press the listing was “very disappointing and concerning”, and accuseding the University of neglecting background checks before recruiting.
They added Career Connect maintained an “ambiguous position on an employer accountable for credible accusations of breaching human rights on multiple occasions.
“If the University continues turning a blind eye towards the oppression we are facing, it will eventually affect local students.
“We lost [freedom of speech] in Hong Kong, it shouldn’t be happening in the UK.”
Sheffield Councillor, Ben Miskell, penned an open letter on 11 June to University bosses highlighting an Amnesty International report accusing the HKPF of “widespread human rights violations”.
It can’t be right that @sheffielduni’s careers service bans collaboration with tobacco firms in their Ts&Cs, but remain silent when it comes to human rights violators. @thetimes does a great job covering @SSwHongKong’s petition & my letter to the VC https://t.co/NVpLDYM0TT
— Cllr Ben Miskell (@benmiskell) June 13, 2020
Last year, a series of violent clashes between the HKPF and pro-democracy protesters led to two deaths whilst proxy demonstrations amongst Sheffield students resulted in an arrest after a city centre altercation.
This isn’t the first time this year that a UK university has advertised the HKPF to graduates.
In May the University of Cambridge student newspaper Varsity said the university had circulated information about a HKPF mentorship programme to individual Hong Kong students.
A spokesperson for the University of Sheffield said: “These graduate jobs have been advertised at a number of universities and other organisations.
“We closed this job advert on Friday 12th June. We don’t intend to re-advertise this job posting in our next academic year.”
However, they declined to elaborate on why the advertisement had been allowed in the first place given the police force’s violent record and the sensitivity of the pro-democracy question within the Sheffield student community.
Original Featured Image: Lai Tsan Chan.
Edits by Forge Press.