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Hong Kong activist who coined banned independence slogan released from prison | Hong Kong

Hong Kong activist Edward Leung, who coined the now-banned slogan “Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our instances” has been released from prison and positioned underneath strict supervision after spending 4 years behind bars.

The distinguished independence activist mentioned in an announcement posted on his Fb web page – hours after his reported launch at about 3am on Wednesday – that he was again together with his household.

“As required by legislation, I’m topic to a supervision order upon launch,” he wrote within the put up, including that he would cease utilizing social media and won’t be taking any media interviews or visits.

“After 4 years, I need to cherish this valuable time to reunite with my household and resume a traditional life with them,” Leung mentioned, earlier than thanking his supporters for his or her concern and love. His Fb account was deleted an hour later.

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Leung was the spokesman of Hong Kong Indigenous, a pro-independence group within the metropolis that was outspoken about “localism” and the necessity to protect a definite Hong Kong identification.

In 2018, the 30-year-old activist was convicted of assaulting a police officer and rioting in 2016 throughout what’s now often called the Fishball Revolution. The unrest started when authorities tried to crack down on unlicensed hawkers promoting road meals throughout the 2016 lunar new yr holidays in Mong Kok, however clashed with protesters who opposed their actions as an assault on native traditions.

A rioter tries to throw bricks at police in Mong Kok district of Hong Kong, Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016. Hong Kong's Lunar New Year celebration descended into chaotic scenes as protesters and police clashed over a street market selling fish balls and other local holiday delicacies. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)
A rioter tries to throw bricks at police in Mong Kok district of Hong Kong, Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016. Hong Kong’s Lunar New Yr celebration descended into chaotic scenes as protesters and police clashed over a road market promoting fish balls and different native vacation delicacies. (AP Photograph/Vincent Yu) {Photograph}: Vincent Yu/AP

Initially sentenced to 6 years of imprisonment, Leung had his sentence lowered by two years for good behaviour, in response to native media stories.

Leung’s launch comes throughout a crackdown on political dissent in Hong Kong, with authorities arresting a majority of Hong Kong’s outspoken pro-democracy activists over the previous two years. Most of the metropolis’s distinguished activists are behind bars or have fled abroad to proceed their activism.

Leung is understood for coining the slogan “Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our instances” for his election marketing campaign, when he tried to run for a seat within the legislature in 2016. He was later disqualified.

The phrase turned a preferred protest slogan throughout the 2019 protests, however authorities have since banned the slogan, stating it has secessionist connotations which are unlawful underneath the nationwide safety legislation (NSL) applied in 2020. The NSL outlaws secession, subversion, terrorism and overseas collusion to intervene within the metropolis’s affairs.

Leung advocated so-called forceful resistance towards political violence in his campaigns, which was thought-about a polarising opinion and drew opposition from town’s extra conventional pro-democracy camp.

Nevertheless, his stance of a extra lively type of resistance additionally drew the eye of younger voters, and lots of of his concepts, comparable to “leaderless” protests, had been later employed throughout the months of anti-government protests in 2019.

In a put up on Leung’s Fb web page on Tuesday – a day earlier than his launch – Leung’s household urged supporters to let Leung “reunite together with his household” and urged supporters to prioritise their very own security.

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