Former Hong Kong lawmaker says he has fled 'into exile'

Hui, 38, said he has yet to seek asylum in any country

A former Hong Kong opposition lawmaker announced on Thursday he had chosen to go into exile, joining a growing number of prominent democracy campaigners who have fled Beijing's crackdown on dissent in the finance hub.

Ted Hui, a well-known pro-democracy lawmaker, is currently on a visit to Denmark and announced he had no plans to return home.

"I just finished my three-day visit to Denmark and I hereby announce that I will go into exile and quit the Democratic Party of Hong Kong," he wrote on Facebook.

Hui, 38, said he has yet to seek asylum in any country.

"Exile is not emigration," he wrote. "I would rather drift from place to place and wait for my day to return home."

Danish newspaper Politiken reported that Hui was planning to travel to Britain, to where other prominent protest leaders such as Nathan Law had also fled.

Hui was one of 15 opposition lawmakers who resigned en masse last month to protest Beijing's decision to oust four colleagues because of their political views.

The disqualifications were the latest move in a sweeping crackdown against Beijing's critics following last year's huge and often violent democracy protests.

Beijing has refused demands for universal suffrage and authorities have pursued democracy supporters with criminal cases and a tough new security law.

Hui was a regular face at those protests, often trying to mediate between riot police and demonstrators.

He had been arrested multiple times and faced several charges linked to both street protests and demonstrations inside Hong Kong's partially elected legislature.

Rumours had swirled that Hui planned to flee following his arrival in Denmark on Tuesday.

Local outlet HK01 reported his family had left the city on Wednesday.

Despite being on bail Hui got court permission to travel overseas to a climate conference.

su/jta/je