HONG KONG: Hong Kong’s pro-democracy activist Agnes Chow has been released from prison after serving nearly seven months. After her release, Chow was greeted by her supporters and the media. Meanwhile, the authorities haven’t commented on her early release. In 2019, Chow with her fellow activists Joshua Wong and Ivan Lam was sentenced to 10 months of prison for their role in protests.
According to the reports, 24-year-old Chow left the prison at about 10:00 local time (02:00 GMT) on Saturday. Democracy activist Chow was unresponsive to reporters as she left the prison. Her supporters were heard shouting “Add oil!” – an expression that became a rallying cry during the protests. From being a teen activist to Hong Kong democracy leader, Chow is now seen as the face of Hong Kong protests.
Her supporters call her “the real Mulan”, about the legendary Chinese heroine who fought to save her family and country.
The National Security Law
Hong Kong has always been planning to implement a security law but hasn’t been able to pass it. Now, the Chinese government has stepped in to ensure that the city has a legal framework to deal with the serious challenges.
The details of the law’s 66 articles were kept secret until after it was passed last year. It criminalizes any act of:
- secession – breaking away from the country
- subversion – undermining the power or authority of the central government
- terrorism – using violence or intimidation against people
- collusion with foreign or external forces
The law came into effect at 23:00 local time on June 30 last year. Interestingly, the law gives China the power to shape life in Hong Kong. according to the experts, the law effectively “curtails protest and freedom of speech”.