Hong Kong democracy activist Chow Ting released from prison

Hong Kong democracy activist and former member of the Hong Kong Alliance for Democracy (HKAD) Chow Ting was released on Saturday (June 12) after serving nearly seven months in prison for participating in an unauthorized rally during the 2019 anti-government protests in Hong Kong.

Chow Ting, 24, and Wong Chi-fung, the former secretary-general of the Hong Kong Alliance for Democracy and People’s Livelihood, were both sentenced to prison on charges of participating in a rally near the Hong Kong Police Force.

Wong Chi-fung is still serving his sentence in prison. Chow Ting was sentenced to 10 months in prison. The reason for her early release is unclear. The Correctional Services Department said it would not comment on individual cases.

Chow Ting was released from the Tai Lam Correctional Institution in Tuen Mun, New Territories, Hong Kong, at about 10 a.m. Saturday.

She was escorted to her car by her friends and other pro-democracy activists and did not give interviews to the media.

Supporters chanted “Go Chow Ting”. Some supporters wore black T-shirts and yellow masks, and one carried a yellow umbrella, the symbol of the 2014 “Umbrella Revolution” protests in Hong Kong.

Chow Ting, Wong Chi-fung and Law Kwun-chung founded the pro-democracy group Hong Kong People’s Liberation Army in 2016. Hours after Beijing passed the Hong Kong version of the national security law last year, the group disbanded out of fear of being targeted by the law.

The law stifled the pro-democracy movement and raised concerns about Beijing’s commitment to the “one country, two systems” model and the future of Hong Kong’s autonomy.

Zhou was also arrested last year on suspicion of “collusion with foreign powers” under the law, but has not faced any related charges.

Zhou Ting speaks fluent Japanese and has a significant following in Japan, especially on social media. She was a frequent visitor to Japan before her arrest and often tweeted in Japanese. Japanese media referred to her as a “goddess of democracy.