Human Rights in China /2/ H.K. activist Agnes Chow recalls prison experience in online VIDEO

Kyodo News - 3/26/2024 4:30:00 PM

Human Rights in China /2/ H.K. activist Agnes Chow recalls prison experience in online video

Agnes Chow feels danger for her personal security

Prominent pro-democracy activist Agnes Chow, who revealed last year that she had left Hong Kong to study in Canada with no plans to return, has posted an online video recalling her time spent behind bars.

She was in jail for about seven months through June 2021 at a Hong Kong prison for inciting an unauthorized protest in 2019. On Monday, Chow posted a 23-minute video to YouTube, marking her return to the social media platform after a three-year absence.

In the video, titled "My days in jail," the 27-year-old details the time she spent there, covering topics such as prison labor, meal times and free time activities.

Screenshot shows pro-democracy activist Agnes Chow recalling her time spent at a Hong Kong prison in a video on her YouTube channel. (Kyodo)
Chow says that she read over 20 novels by Japanese author Keigo Higashino alongside several other popular fantasy series, mentioning that they helped her to forget the harsh reality of her situation.

"Sometimes, when I finished a novel and returned to reality...surrounded by walls, sitting on a stiff bed, it really filled me with a sense of loneliness and sadness," she recalls.

At the end of the video, Chow emphasizes that she does not take the freedom she now has to speak in front of a camera lightly, adding that she hopes to continue making videos in the future.

Chow is currently on a wanted list after failing to meet the terms of her bail last December. The activist announced that she would remain in Canada for fear of being detained and would likely never return to Hong Kong.

Hong Kong police have condemned Chow for her actions, saying they would "spare no effort" in bringing her to justice in accordance with the law, and that she will be "pursued for life" unless she surrenders.

Chow was convicted alongside fellow activists Joshua Wong and Ivan Lam over their involvement in the pro-democracy protest on June 21, 2019, in which mostly young protesters besieged the city's police headquarters.

Her fluent, self-taught Japanese language skills and activism via social media have helped her become popular in Japan, where some media have dubbed her the "Goddess of Democracy."