4th December 2023 – (Tokyo) Agnes Chow, former member of the Standing Committee of Demosisto, announced on her Instagram last night (3rd December) that she has left Hong Kong to study in Canada in September. She originally planned to report to the police this month regarding the national security case, but she stated that after careful consideration, she has decided not to return and “probably will never go back”.
This morning (4th December), Agnes Chow was interviewed by Japan’s Tokyo TV (テレ東BIZ) via video. Speaking in Japanese, she discussed her future plans, including applying for asylum, and revealed that she is experiencing health issues, including Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). She claimed that she is unable to do anything in Hong Kong for the past three years.
The National Security Department (NSD) of the Hong Kong Police Force strongly condemned Agnes Chow today without explicitly naming her. They criticised her open defiance of the rule of law and called on her to reconsider her actions and not choose a path of no return, as she would carry the label of a “fugitive” for the rest of her life.
During the interview with Tokyo TV (テレ東BIZ), Agnes Chow was described as “almost a refugee.” She was quoted as saying, “I can never go back to Hong Kong.” She further stated, “I was supposed to return to Hong Kong in December, but I have now decided not to. I have decided that I can no longer go back to Hong Kong.”
The report mentioned that Agnes Chow is considering her future plans but is seen as a de facto exile. She expressed, “I have been in Hong Kong for three years, and because of all the issues I have encountered, including PTSD, I can no longer do anything.”
The NSD’s statement today expressed concern about individuals publicly stating that they will not report to the police as required. The police strongly condemned these irresponsible acts that challenge the rule of law. They urged the individuals to reconsider their actions and not choose a path of no return, as they would carry the label of a “fugitive” for the rest of their lives.
Agnes Chow was arrested by the NSD on 10th August, 2020, for suspected “collusion with external elements” and subsequently imprisoned for other offences from late 2020 to mid-2021. After her release, she continued to report to the NSD while on bail. The police, based on the power granted by Schedule 2 of Article 43 of the National Security Law, imposed travel restrictions on her. However, the woman expressed her desire to study abroad and provided documents proving her admission. As a result, the NSD returned her travel documents and extended her bail until December.