Nathan Law, one of the most prominent young activists in the Hong Kong movement for democratic reform, announced on Monday that he was in London, five days after announcing that he had fled in the wake of the entry into force of a law on national security imposed by Beijing.
“My destination: London,” Law wrote on his Facebook page on Monday to mark his 27th birthday.
“So far, I have kept a low profile on my trips in order to limit the risks,” he adds. “In this strange country, I have started to make plans for the life that awaits me. There are still so many uncertainties,” he continues.
Nathan Law is one of the young leaders of the political party militating for the democracy in Hong Kong Demosisto, which announced Tuesday its dissolution, just after the adoption by the Chinese Parliament of the controversial national security legislation.
This party was founded by students at the end of the Umbrella Movement in 2014 against Beijing’s growing hold on the former British colony.
Even though he was not campaigning for territorial independence, Mr. Law and other prominent party members like former student leader Joshua Wong have often been described by Chinese authorities as separatists conspiring with foreigners against Beijing.
Beijing enacted a draconian national security law on June 30, imposed on Hong Kong to suppress subversion, secession, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces, in response to the protest movement aimed at last year in this semi-autonomous territory central power.
This law represents the most radical change for Hong Kong since its return by the United Kingdom to China in 1997. Pro-democracy activists fear an unprecedented erosion of freedoms and autonomy granted to the former British colony .
On Wednesday, less than 24 hours after the law came into force, the police made the first arrests under this text, which makes Chinese justice competent for the most serious crimes in this area.
Nathan Law announced Thursday that he had fled from Hong Kong, without specifying his destination.
The day before, he had presented a video testimony at a congressional hearing in Washington in which he shouted the protest slogan “Free Hong Kong. The revolution of our time”. The authorities consider that this slogan now violates the new national security law.
Believing that the new law constituted a “manifest violation” of the autonomy of the former British colony, the United Kingdom announced last week its intention to extend immigration rights for the people of Hong Kong.