After release from prison, Hong Kong’s most prominent student activist Joshua Wong has urged Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam to resign.
Wong became the face of the 2014 pro-democracy protests which called for the city to pick its own leaders. People are again on the streets to protest a controversial extradition bill which allows the extradition of accused to mainland China from Hong.
Opponents of the controversial bill are of the view that it would expose people in Hong Kong to China’s deeply flawed justice system and lead to further erosion of the city’s judicial independence.
Much of the public anger has been directed to Ms Lam, who is pro-Beijing, and on Sunday she apologised for proposing the bill.
After diminishing in numbers overnight, large groups of protesters were seen gathering on key roads near the government headquarters again on Monday. Organisers say protests will continue until the bill is scrapped altogether.
Wong, who received two separate prison sentences in 2017 and 2018 for his part in what became known as the Umbrella Movement, walked free on Monday after serving a reduced sentence of one month.
“[Carrie Lam] is no longer qualified to be Hong Kong’s leader,” Wong told reporters at the prison. “She must take the blame and resign, be held accountable and step down.”
He also celebrated his new found freedom and called for the extradition bill to be withdrawn in a tweet on Monday.
The recent wave of protests in Hong Kong are reminiscent of the Umbrella Movement that took place in 2014.
The protests started in reaction to a decision made by China that it would allow direct elections in Hong Kong in 2017, but only from a list of candidates pre-approved by Beijing.