By Javier García
Beijing, Jul 4 (efe-epa).- Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong vowed on Friday that he will not leave the city as others have done but will stay and “continue the fight on the street”.
“I still have a role to play here,” he tells Efe in a telephone interview, stressing the importance of getting the most votes in September elections in the city.
Wong intends to stand as a candidate in the Legislative Council of the Hong Kong special administrative region or SAR, China’s official name for the two semi-autonomous regions of Hong Kong and Macau.
Beijing banned him from running in district elections which took place in November on the grounds that his past defense of the city’s right to self-determination went against Hong Kong’s Basic Law, its de-facto constitution.
Now that the national security law has come into effect it is even more unlikely Wong will be allowed to run but he hopes the results of the primaries will “quantify popular opposition” to the controversial new legislation.
He says the more people who vote in the primary elections the higher chance that “our rights would be granted and more cost for Beijing to put me again in jail”.
The 23-year-old has been arrested eight times, spent three months in prison last year and has also been accused of organizing an illegal protest at Hong Kong Police Station on 21 June, for which he could stand trial soon.
He has been banned from leaving Hong Kong and has to report to a police station twice a week.
On the day he was released from prison last year he made an appearance outside the headquarters of the Legislative Council of Hong Kong, where he was cheered on by thousands of people who had gathered in protest against a proposed extradition bill.