Hong Kong Activist Agnes Chow's Bold Move: Considers Asylum in Canada Amidst Security Law Controversy
Hong Kong activist Agnes Chow's potential asylum move to Canada amid security law tension.
Agnes Chow, a well-known Hong Kong activist accused of violating the national security law, has made headlines by leaving for Canada, hinting at a potential self-imposed exile. This decision has faced criticism from Hong Kong authorities, who are determined to pursue and apprehend her for what they label as "shameful behavior."
Chow, once a prominent figure in Hong Kong's pro-democracy movement, announced on social media her intention to stay in Toronto for academic pursuits, signaling her reluctance to return to the city.
The Hong Kong government responded strongly, pledging to spare no effort in pursuing and arresting her in accordance with the law. They condemned what they perceive as an attempt to evade punishment.
Arrested in 2020 on charges of colluding with foreign forces, Chow was released on bail with the condition to report to Hong Kong authorities this month. However, citing concerns for her safety, as well as her physical and mental well-being, Chow took to Instagram to announce her decision not to return, expressing uncertainty about ever doing so.
In a TV Tokyo interview on Monday, Chow revealed that she is considering seeking asylum in Canada, a move that drew a call from Hong Kong police for her return to avoid being labeled a "fugitive."
Chow's social media post also shed light on an unusual trip arranged by Hong Kong's national security police in August. She was taken to an exhibition in Shenzhen to learn about China's achievements and visited Tencent's headquarters to understand technological advances. Chow claimed that this one-day trip was a condition of her release, and the police asked her to write a letter expressing gratitude for understanding the "motherland's great development." Both Tencent and Chow have yet to respond to requests for comments.
In a related development, Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee vowed to pursue eight other democracy activists for life after they fled abroad to evade national security charges. This decision came shortly after authorities offered a bounty of HK$1,000,000 ($127,960) on each of them.