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Protests in Hong Kong have been taking place since June. Photo: Sudio Incendo/Wikicommons

University “will continue to monitor the situation” as violence between police, protesters escalates

The seven University of Ottawa students on exchange in Hong Kong are safe amid escalating violence between protesters and police, the university says. 

“We have been in contact with them throughout the semester to confirm their safety,” said Isabelle Mailloux-Pulkinghorn, manager of media relations at the U of O, in a statement to the Fulcrum. “We will continue to monitor the situation in Hong Kong and assist our students as required.”

Mailloux-Pulkinghorn said the students attend four different institutions but did not provide information on what faculties they are in or whether there are plans to ask them to leave the city.

Meanwhile, several universities in Canada are urging their students to leave Hong Kong.

The University of British Columbia (UBC) has contacted their 31 students on exchange and recommended they leave the city, the Ubyssey reports. As of Wednesday, 20 UBC students had left, while the 11 remaining were marked safe. 

There are five students in Hong Kong from Western University as of Thursday, while the university has urged students to return home, the Western Gazette reports.  

In the GTA, both the University of Toronto (U of T) and York University are urging their students to leave the city as well, according to CBC News. As of Tuesday, 20 U of T students and 10 York University students were on exchange in Hong Kong. 

Queen’s University is recommending their 15 students on exchange return home as well, the Kingston Whig-Standard reports. McGill University has confirmed their 22 students in Hong Kong are safe, the Montreal Gazette reports

Protests in Hong Kong have been going on since early June after legislation was proposed that would have allowed criminal suspects to extradited to the mainland. 

The bill was eventually withdrawn but protesters have continued to rally for political reform, an independent inquiry into allegations of police brutality, amnesty for arrested protesters, implementation of universal suffrage, and for protests to not be labelled a ‘riot.’

More to come.