Nathan Law, a former lawmaker and prominent pro-democracy activist, has fled Hong Kong, he announced Thursday on Facebook. The news comes days after China’s central government imposed a controversial national security law in the territory.
Law said he left the city because he wanted to continue the protest movement’s advocacy work on the international stage.
He did not say where he had gone, noting only that he would not reveal too much about his personal whereabouts and situation, and does not know when he will return to Hong Kong.
Law is one of the most famous protest leaders to come out of Hong Kong’s 2014 demonstrations, which shut down parts of central Hong Kong for more than two months.
He was elected as a lawmaker in 2016, but was disqualified from office by Hong Kong courts after Beijing enacted a rarely-used power to “reinterpret” the city’s constitution, putting more stringent requirements on how legislators took their oaths of office.
Law’s oath was deemed “insincere,” ending his term in parliament.
The new security law dramatically broadens the powers of local and mainland authorities to investigate, prosecute and punish dissenters.
Critics say the law has stripped Hong Kong of its autonomy and precious civil and social freedoms. The Chinese and local governments argue it’s necessary to curb unrest and uphold mainland sovereignty.
Prominent activist Joshua Wong announced soon after the bill’s reported passage that he was leaving Demosisto, the political party he co-founded in 2016. Law and activist Agnes Chow, who were leading figures in the party, soon followed suit.
Wong and other activists have met with foreign diplomats and testified before the US Congress since large-scale pro-democracy protests broke out in vast numbers last summer.
After the new law went in effect on Tuesday night, Law testified via video conference before a US congressional committee hearing.