Hong Kong pro-democracy activist flees to Canada—CCP officials say they will pursue her for life

"I finally don't have to worry about whether or not I'll be arrested, and I can say what I want to say, do what I want to do."

Jarryd Jaeger Vancouver, BC
A prominent pro-democracy activist from Hong Kong who fled to Toronto while on bail after spending time in jail for organizing "unauthorized assembly" during the 2019 protests has vowed to never return to her home country.

Agnes Chow has instead opted to remain in Canada, where she has been studying for the past three months, to enjoy the freedom the nation offers. The move has angered the Chinese territory's Communist Party-controlled government, who have since vowed to pursue her "for the rest of her life."

"In consideration of the political situation in Hong Kong and my personal health, my mental health, my physical health, and the high political risk of not being allowed to leave Hong Kong again," Chow told Reuters, "I've decided not to go back."

On Instagram, she added that life in Canada had shown her what it was like to be "freed physically and mentally."

"There are still a lot of unknowns in the future," she said on an Instagram, per the National Post, "but [I] know that I finally don't have to worry about whether or not I'll be arrested, and I can say what I want to say [and] do what I want to do."

As Reuters reports, in 2020 Chow was sentenced to 10 months in prison for her role in organizing pro-democracy protests the year before, but was released after serving seven months in June 2021. 

Due to allegations she had colluded with foreign forces and thus violated the CCP-imposed national security law, she was closely monitored and had her passport confiscated. 

Earlier this year, however, she was allowed to leave Hong Kong to attend a master's program in Toronto, and only returned her passport the day before she left.

She was due to return to her home country this month to check in with authorities, as per their agreement.
  Her decision angered the Hong Kong Police Force. As the National Post reports, the agency released a statement decrying her "irresponsible action." While they didn't mention Chow by name, evidence pointed to her being "the woman" in question.


They urged her to "immediately turn back before it is too late and not to choose a path of no return," warning that if she does not, "she will bear the stigma of 'fugitive' for the rest of her life."

Canada previously had an extradition agreement with Hong Kong, but that was suspended in the wake of the CCP-controlled government's crackdown on citizens in 2020.


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