Former Hong Kong lawmaker released from prison after serving four weeks for Legislative Council storming
Localist lawmaker disqualified over her improper oath-taking set free after finishing sentence
Disqualified pro-independence lawmaker Yau Wai-ching was set free on Saturday morning four weeks after being jailed for storming a Hong Kong Legislative Council meeting room two years ago.
Dressed in a long white dress, Yau stepped out of Lo Wu Correctional Institution in Kwu Tung, before getting into a friend’s car and driving away.
Yau refused to answer questions from the media as she made her way to the vehicle.
“I won’t talk today,” she said, repeating the same line when asked if she would be attending the annual July 1 protest march on Sunday.
Yau’s assistant, Chung Suet-ying, was released as well, and left with a friend. A second assistant, Yeung Lai-hong, was also expected to be released on Saturday.
The trio were charged as a result of a confrontation that took place in Legco on November 2, 2016, when Yau and fellow lawmaker Sixtus Baggio Leung Chung-hang attempted to retake their oaths of office.
Yau and Leung had been barred from the chamber after their anti-China antics during an earlier swearing-in ceremony the month before.
During the attempt to storm the chamber, a female security guard collapsed and three of her colleagues were injured in a scrum in a narrow corridor that involved Yau, Leung, their three assistants, the guards, and journalists.
All five defendants were found guilty of taking part in an illegal assembly. Yau, Chung and Yeung decided not to appeal and were held in custody immediately on June 4 this year, while Leung and one assistant were granted bail pending appeal.
After she was imprisoned, a pre-recorded video appeared on Yau’s Facebook page urging her supporters to keep on fighting.
“This is not a single incident. It is not a beginning, nor an ending point,” she said, referring to a spate of activists being imprisoned.
“The goal could not be achieved in a short time. Many people are still working hard and contributing in their own roles.”
After just two days in prison Yau’s friends posted a message from her, where she said she was fine and had adapted to life behind bars.
At noon Saturday, Yau was spotted arriving at a hotel in Kwai Tsing with friends, carrying takeaway fried chicken.
She told local newspaper Apple Daily that her priority was finding a job.
“The first thing is to get a stable income. Everyone has to make a living,” she was quoted as saying.
Yau also described her life behind bars as disciplined and quiet, affording her extensive time to think.