Hong Kong has become a place of fear”…Zhou Ting speaks of “three years of silence” and the “‘Marching Titans’ that saved me from my troubles”. | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Hong Kong has become a place of fear”…Zhou Ting speaks of “three years of silence” and the “‘Marching Titans’ that saved me from my troubles”.

Hong Kong's Democracy Movement Goddess in Exile in Canada Declares Farewell to Her Homeland: "There Will Be No Freedom of Speech

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Ms. Shuwa Niwa answers FRIDAY’s interview. She says that watching “Violet Evergarden,” a Japanese anime as well as “Shinkage no Kyojin,” made her think about “what love is.

I still love Hong Kong,” he said. But over the past three years, my homeland has become a place of fear.

Agnes Chow, 27, who has led the “Umbrella Movement” for democracy in Hong Kong since 2002, told FRIDAY, “I am the goddess of the Hong Kong democracy movement. In early December, she told SNS that she would stay in Toronto, Canada, where she was studying, and would not return to her native Hong Kong. I will not return to my native Hong Kong,” she posted on her social networking site.

The suppression of speech was the reason for her silence for three years after her arrest and imprisonment by the Hong Kong police in August 2008 on charges of violating the National Security Law.

Some people have been arrested for simply expressing their opinions on social networking sites. A normal, democratic life is no longer possible in Hong Kong.”

After his release in June 2009, Zhou was subjected to interrogation-like questioning once every three months, and it was difficult for him to find work. Such a life gradually took its toll on his mind and body.

“My fear and anxiety never went away, and I suffered from PTSD, anxiety disorder, and panic disorder, and I still need medication and therapy. The environment at the time itself was the cause of my illness, so I had to change it from the root.
I left Hong Kong in September, and in getting my passport back, I was forced to attend a patriotic exhibition in China as a condition of getting a patriotic education, which was also a hard time.”

Zhou, who speaks fluent Japanese, is also known as a lover of Japanese idols, as he revealed that the music of Tsukijizaka 46 was a source of support during his incarceration. In the past three years, she has also developed an appreciation for Japanese anime, and one particular work helped her make her decision.

I had to negotiate with the police when I left the country, and ’23 was a very difficult year for me,” she said. For the past three years, I had no freedom. In the midst of all this, I came across the anime “Shinkage no Kyojin” and I was overlapping my own ″shadow″. In the story, the main characters keep fighting to get out of the walls.

Watching the final episode of the anime, I was encouraged to realize once again that the essential message of “Shinkoku no Kyojin” was “the fight for freedom. I want everyone in Japan to know that the right to live freely is not really a given. On that basis, I would be happy if you could take an interest in Hong Kong.”

In his quest for freedom, Zhou Yiwei worries about the future of his homeland in faraway Canada.

A photo taken in Hong Kong just before he left for Toronto, with a T-shirt printed with Pooh making fun of President Xi Jinping.

From the December 29, 2023 issue of FRIDAY

  • Interview and text by Fumiaki Kurioka PHOTO Courtesy of the photographer

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