Prominent Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Agnes Chow was released from prison on Saturday (June 12), after serving nearly seven months of her 10-months jail sentence for being one of the leaders of anti-government protests in the city in 2019.
The 24-year-old had been convicted together with her long-time activist colleague, Joshua Wong and Ivan Lam, for their involvement in 2019 protests.
Her fellow activists remains in prison and the reason for Chow’s early release after being sentenced to 10 months in jail was not clear.
Chow left the prison gates at about 10:00 local time (02:00 GMT) on Saturday. She did not speak to the waiting media and was driven away in a car by friends.
Her supporters were heard shouting “Add oil!” – an expression that became a rallying cry during the mass protests.
Alongside Wong and Lam, also in their 20s, Agnes Chow became the face of Hong Kong’s protests.
Chow’s supporters have dubbed her “the real Mulan”, in reference to the legendary Chinese heroine who fought to save her family and country. Others have called her the “goddess of democracy”.
Nathan Law, another prominent young activist, has been given asylum in the UK after fleeing Hong Kong.
The pro-democracy activists were all prosecuted in violation of a sweeping national security law that Beijing imposed on the territory a year ago.
The legislation has resulted in the arrests of leading democracy activists while others have fled abroad seeking asylum.
It has also barred them from running for positions in the local legislative council elections which has already been postponed.
The national security law gives Beijing powers to shape life in Hong Kong it has never had before. Critics say it effectively curtails protest and freedom of speech – China has said it will return stability. (Source: BBC)