HK activist says desire for freedom led her to flee

STORY: Chow was released from prison in June 2021 after being jailed for unauthorized assembly. She also faces a separate allegation of collusion with foreign forces under a China-impose national security law.

The security law has drawn criticism from Western governments as a tool of repression, but China says it has restored stability after mass pro-democracy protests in 2019.

Hong Kong authorities agreed to allow her to travel to Toronto for a master's degree program this year, but only if she agreed to a one-day trip to the Chinese city of Shenzhen, where Chow said she was chaperoned by five police officers and photographed at a "patriotic" exhibition showcasing China's achievements, and the headquarters of technology firm Tencent.

She said she was required to write and sign several letters her police handlers had drafted, including one of repentance and one of thanks to authorities.

Hong Kong leader John Lee on Tuesday described Chow as a "liar" and "devoid of integrity".