Edward Leung, the Hong Kong pro-democracy activist who coined the phrase “Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our times”, has been released after four years in prison.
The 30-year-old is a former spokesperson for Hong Kong Indigenous, a pro-independence group, and had sought to run in the 2016 Hong Kong Legislative Council election, when he ran on the slogan “Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our times.”
He was later disqualified by authorities.
“Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our times” became a popular slogan during the mass protests against the extradition bill in 2019.
However, it was officially banned by the Hong Kong government in July 2020, and anyone who uses the slogan can be prosecuted under the national security law for inciting secession. In July 2021, the first person was charged for displaying a banner with the slogan.
In 2018, Leung was sentenced to jail for six years for rioting and assaulting a police officer during civil unrest in Mong Kok in 2016.
Now known as the Fishball Revolution, the civil unrest began when the government cracked down on unlicensed street hawkers – or vendors – in Mong Kok during the Lunar New Year holiday and clashed with protesters who saw it as an attack on local tradition, according to AP.
After serving four years of his sentence, Leung was released early on Wednesday Jan. 19 on good behavior.
He wrote on his Facebook page that he was back with his family but was subject to a supervision order upon his release.
He said that he would stop using social media and would not be taking interviews or visits.
“After four years, I want to cherish this precious time to reunite with my family and resume a normal life with them,” he said and deleted his Facebook page an hour later.