BBC hails Hong Kong activist Agnes Chow on annual list of 100 influential women

Agnes Chow, 23, is one of the 100 influential women honored on BBC’s 2020 list. Photo via Facebook/Agnes Chow
Agnes Chow, 23, is one of the 100 influential women honored on BBC’s 2020 list. Photo via Facebook/Agnes Chow

Hong Kong activist Agnes Chow has made BBC‘s 100 Women list, a recognition that comes as the 23-year-old is remanded in custody for her role in the pro-democracy protests last year.

The British broadcaster announced the annual compilation on Monday, which honors women “leading change and making a difference during these turbulent times,” according to the listicle.

Chow, BBC wrote, has been active in politics since the age of 15 and was arrested earlier this year under Beijing’s controversial security law for “colluding with foreign forces.”

It added that Chow’s supporters have nicknamed her “Mulan,” a reference to the legendary Chinese heroine who went to war to fight for her country.

Just hours before BBC published the 2020 listicle, the activist appeared in court alongside protest leaders Joshua Wong and Ivan Lam on charges relating to a protest outside the police headquarters last June.

All three of them pleaded guilty to taking part in the demonstration and were immediately remanded in custody. They will face sentencing next Wednesday.

Addressing a sea of reporters gathered outside the court on Monday, Chow said: “I feel insecure about many aspects of my uncertain future, including the coming verdict. But [I] hope everyone does not forget that a lot of comrades and friends who have sacrificed more than we have, are facing an even more difficult situation.”

She also called on Hongkongers to continue paying close attention to the 12 protesters detained in Shenzhen after their Taiwan-bound speedboat was intercepted by Guangdong police in August.

The group have been held incommunicado for over three months. Family members of some of the detainees received letters penned by them last week, but the rosy picture they painted of the conditions in the holding center—and emphasis that they are being well fed and taken care of—has raised suspicions that their contents were dictated by authorities.

Chow could face up to three years in prison if she is convicted, according to the Hong Kong Free Press. It would be the young activist’s first time in jail.

“Even though I am mentally prepared [for the potential sentence], I am still a little scared. But compared to our friends, what I’m dealing with is not much,” she wrote on her Facebook page on Sunday night before appearing in court the next morning.

“I will work hard to face [what’s ahead] bravely,” she added.

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