Jailed activist named as unrest 'spiritual' leader

Local | Cissy So 15 Nov 2019

Former localist leader Edward Leung Tin-kei has been named in the "100 Next" list in Time magazine.

The 28-year-old was jailed for six years last year for his involvement in a 2016 riot, but to the thousands of protesters on the streets chanting "Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our times," Leung was a spiritual leader of the city's months-long unrest, said Time.

Leung has brought localism to Hong Kong, which is a movement that advocates greater autonomy from China, the magazine said.

"His early days as an advocate for independence are seen in the award-winning documentary Lost in the Fumes - which, naturally, has become essential viewing for the city's protesters, who in October gathered in the hundreds outside a court building as he appealed his sentence," Time said.

Back in July, Leung was unable to join the mass protest from prison, but to show his support, he wrote an open letter to the protesters encouraging them to fight.

He told the protesters not to be dominated by hatred, and while in distress, always to stay alert and think, and to keep going.

"What we need is to refine perseverance and hope in hardship, but not putting your precious lives on a bet against them," Leung wrote.

Nora Lam Tze-wing, who directed the documentary, said: "He has a way of sounding like he always has something new, something provocative and interesting to say."

TIME 100 Next is a new list which is part of an expansion of its flagship TIME 100 franchise that spotlights 100 rising stars who are shaping the future of business, entertainment, sport, politics, science, health and more.

This issue's list is mainly divided in five categories - artists, advocates, leaders, phenoms, and innovators, while Leung is in the category of leaders.

The issue lends itself to a younger group but intentionally has no age cap, Time said. The ages range from the youngest, 14-year-old skater Alysa Liu, who recently became the first US woman to land a quadruple Lutz in competition, to the oldest, 44-year-old politician Ayman Odeh, who has emerged as a potential kingmaker in Israeli politics.

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