Lee Sin-yi, the 18-year-old girl who fled Hong Kong after being charged with offenses in relation to the Lunar New Year “riot” in Mong Kok last year, is believed to have sought political asylum in Taiwan.
News website HK01.com reports, citing a voice recording purportedly from Lee, that the student activist has chosen exile in the face of a court trial in Hong Kong.
Lee, who has been charged with two counts of rioting and one count of assaulting police following the so-called Fishball Revolution in Mong Kok in February 2016, is receiving help from some Taiwan groups in her bid for asylum on the island, the report suggests.
On the night of Feb. 8, 2016, demonstrators clashed with the police in Mong Kok after a protest over the government’s crackdown on unlicensed street hawkers during the Lunar New Year holidays.
In an audio clip that surfaced recently on the internet and is now being shared widely, Lee admits that she can be accused of cowardice as she failed to show up for court proceedings in Hong Kong.
But she said she believes the action against her and some fellow activists is nothing but political persecution, and that she feels there is no longer rule of law in Hong Kong.
The targeting of people who took part in the Mong Kok protests can be described as the Hong Kong version of the “Formosa Incident”, Lee said, referencing action taken in the late 70s by authorities in Taiwan, which was under one-party rule at that time, to use democracy protests as a pretext to arrest opposition leaders.
The audio clip of Lee has gone viral after it was put online on August 22.
In the recording, the young woman is heard saying that Hong Kong is no longer the same place as it was before and that things have taken a turn for the worse, Apple Daily reports.
Some people are being deprived of the right to stand for elections, while some who have made it to the Legislative Council were disqualified for unjust reasons, Lee said.
People who took part in civil disobedience and peaceful protests are being prosecuted as political prisoners, she said.
The activist added that she believes that within the next thirty years, the “two systems” in the “one country, two systems” will no longer be intact, and that the “mainlandisation” of Hong Kong will speed up until it effectively becomes just another city within Guangdong province.
Lee said she left Hong Kong in the hope of having a new start in Taiwan.
The young woman is said to be receiving help from groups that advocate Taiwan Independence.
Quoting a line from a popular Taiwan movie, Lee said “real people can lose their bodies, but must win their souls”.
In other comments, she thanked all those who have fought for Hong Kong’s future and sought to defend the city’s freedoms.
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