HONG KONG - More than 80 academics from all eight universities in Hong Kong have released a joint statement urging the government to respond to student protesters' demands with "concrete" and "substantive" action, South China Morning Post reported late on Monday night.
"We are opposed to the use of brutal force on our people, whose pure intention is to seek rational dialogue with the government," the statement read, according to the Post.
"If indeed the authorities are to go down the path of brutal suppression, not only will the current political stalemate continue, but it will also trigger futher escalation of conflicts in this community and bring about more rigorous counter-action."
Baptist University School of Journalism's To Yiu Ming, who signed the statement, was cited by the report as saying the government should "at least" indicate publicly a time frame for the discussion between the pro-democracy supporters and Chief Secretary Carrie Lam.
Mrs Lam has been tasked by Chief Executive Leung Chun Ying, who has refused to step down as demanded by the students, to negotiate with the Hong Kong Federation of Students, one of the organisers of the eight-day-old massive protests.
Asked whether he believed students should retreat, Mr To was quoted as saying by the Post : "As a teacher, of course I worry about their safety, but I respect their decisions. I am sure every decision they made has been meditated."