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Tsinghua prof calls off hunger strike protest

By Deng Jingyin (Global Times)

08:40, October 09, 2012

A Tsinghua University professor from Taiwan agreed on Monday evening to end his five-day hunger strike Tuesday, which he started as a last resort to protest against the university exposing his unpublished research information on a website without his permission.

Cheng Yao, a professor in the department of engineering physics since 2002, posted at 8 pm Monday on his Sina microblog that Tsinghua admitted they had failed to get confirmation from professors to use personal information on its university website. He had previously demanded an apology and the removal of the webpage.

Cheng started the hunger strike on October 4 at home, drinking only some lemon water. He has posted his photos, weight and blood pressure on his microblog every day since.

He had been in conflict with Tsinghua for some time, after he found that an international assessment report he had proposed, which contained important scientific research information, was posted on his personal introduction webpage by the engineering physics department.

According to a statement posted on Cheng's Sina microblog, the department started collecting information to make webpages for all faculty in January 2011. He later found the department added the report to his page without his permission, and then refused to remove it.

"I wrote the report, how can they publish it without my permission? I've protested for one year, but got no solution," he was quoted as saying by Hong Kong newspaper Ming Pao.

Cheng agreed to an interview, but could not be reached Monday after several attempts.

A senior employee from the engineering physics department's Party affairs office told the Global Times they removed Cheng's webpage Sunday.

"We've done what we can do. But I can't give you Cheng's contact number, or he'll blame me for revealing his information," the man said.

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