Sat. Jun 15th, 2024

HONG KONG (AP) — One in all Hong Kong’s best-known pro-democracy activists, who moved to Canada to pursue additional research, stated she wouldn’t return to the town to satisfy her bail situations, turning into the newest politician to flee Hong Kong beneath Beijing’s crackdown on dissidents.

Agnes Chow, a well-known younger face within the metropolis’s once-vibrant pro-democracy motion, was arrested in 2020 beneath a Beijing-imposed nationwide safety legislation that was enacted following 2019 anti-government protests. She was launched on bail but in addition served greater than six months in jail for a separate case over her position within the protests.

After Chow was launched from jail in 2021 for that case, she needed to frequently report back to the police. She stated in an Instagram publish on Sunday night time that the strain brought about her “psychological sicknesses” and influenced her choice to not return to the town.

Lots of her friends have been jailed, arrested, pressured into self-exile or silenced after the introduction of the safety legislation in 2020.

The suppression of the town’s pro-democracy motion highlights that freedoms promised to the previous British colony when it returned to China in 1997 have been eroded drastically. However Beijing and Hong Kong have hailed the safety legislation for bringing again stability to the semi-autonomous Chinese language metropolis.

Chow stated the authorities in July supplied to return her passport for her to pursue research in Canada beneath the situation that she would journey to mainland China with them. She agreed, she stated, and her journey in August included a go to to an exhibition on China’s achievements and the headquarters of tech large Tencent. The authorities later returned her passport to her.

After contemplating the scenario in Hong Kong, her security and her well being, Chow stated she “most likely will not return” to the town once more.

“I do not need to be pressured to do issues that I do not need to do anymore and be pressured to go to mainland China once more. If it continues, my physique and my thoughts will collapse although I’m protected,” she wrote.

Hong Kong police on Monday “strongly condemned” Chow’s transfer, with out naming her, saying it was “in opposition to and difficult the rule of legislation.”

“Police urge the girl to instantly flip again earlier than it’s too late and never to decide on a path of no return. In any other case, she’s going to bear the stigma of ‘fugitive’ for the remainder of her life,” the police stated in an announcement.

The police didn’t reply to questions from The Related Press on Chow’s mainland China journey.

Chow rose to fame with different distinguished younger activists Joshua Wong and Nathan Legislation as a pupil chief for his or her activism within the 2010s, together with pro-democracy protests in 2014.

She co-founded the now-defunct pro-democracy get together Demosisto with Wong and Legislation, however the get together was disbanded on June 30, 2020, the identical day the safety legislation was enacted.

Wong is now in custody and faces a subversion cost that might lead to life imprisonment if convicted. Legislation fled to Britain and the police in July supplied a reward of 1 million Hong Kong {dollars} ($127,600) for data resulting in his arrest.

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