Everything About Agnes Chow, Who Has Jumped Bail & Promised Not to Go Back to Hong Kong

Agnes Chow, a well-known pro-democracy activist from Hong Kong, has become a symbol of the city’s youth-driven political movement. 

After two years of radio silence, reports on Sunday (3 December 2023) revealed that she’s now living in Canada and isn’t planning on returning to meet her bail conditions in Hong Kong. 

If you’re unfamiliar with Agnes Chow or her name doesn’t ring a bell, let us introduce you to her story. 

Who is Agnes Chow?

Born on 3 December 1996 in Hong Kong, Chow is a prominent social activist. 

She played a key role as one of the founding members of the pro-democracy political group Demosisto, alongside fellow activists Nathan Law and Joshua Wong.

In 2020, Chow faced a 10-month prison sentence for her involvement in Hong Kong’s mass anti-government protests from the previous year. 

Following her release in 2021, she was granted bail in a separate case, which accused her of “colluding with foreign forces to endanger national security”, as reported by CNN

Image: Instagram (@chowtingagnes)

Her passport was confiscated, and she was required to regularly report to the police, prompting her to maintain a low profile ever since.

Early Activism

Chow, currently 27, first gained recognition as a teenage activist in 2012 when she and Joshua Wong protested against government proposals to introduce “patriotic education” in Hong Kong’s schools. 

Her activism continued to evolve, and by 2014, she had become one of the prominent young leaders of the pro-democracy movement.

She took a significant step by co-founding the political party Demosisto, which advocates for greater autonomy for Hong Kong within the “one country, two systems” framework. 

However, her dedication to the cause led to several encounters with the law, underscoring the challenges activists face in pursuing democratic reform.

In 2019, Agnes Chow faced her initial arrest during the anti-extradition bill protests in Hong Kong. 

She was charged with inciting others to join an unauthorised assembly. Even after her release on bail, she remained resolute in vocalising her ideals, showing her commitment to the cause.

Arrested in 2020 Due to Involvement in Pro-Democracy

In 2020, Chow was arrested due to a national security law imposed by Beijing after the 2019 protests. 

She was released on bail and spent over six months in jail for her role in those protests.

Since her release two-and-a-half years ago, she has kept a low public profile. 

According to The Guardian, she was amongst a group of nine people, including media tycoon and activist Jimmy Lai, arrested on charges of “colluding with foreign forces” under the controversial national security law. 

Despite her release on bail, she had to follow several conditions, such as regularly reporting to the police and surrendering her passport.

Jumped Bail and Moved to Canada for Studies

After maintaining over two years of public silence, Chow made a comeback on her 27th birthday with a social media announcement. 


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A post shared by 周庭 Agnes Chow (@chowtingagnes)

She revealed that she had left Hong Kong in September to pursue her studies in Canada. She confirmed that she would not return to Hong Kong this month as required by police reporting regulations.

In an Instagram post on 3 December 2023, Chow revealed that she had embarked on a journey to Canada in September to pursue her studies at a university. 

“Probably I won’t return for the rest of my life,” she shared in an Instagram post.

She said she decided to depart after “considering the situation in Hong Kong, my personal safety, my physical and mental health”, adding that she had faced immense pressure from the authorities.

Chow mentioned that she got her passport back after joining a police-organised trip to mainland China in August. 

She had permission from Hong Kong authorities to study for her master’s degree in Canada, with the condition that she’d return to Hong Kong during school breaks.

With her decision to jump bail, Hong Kong police strongly criticised her decision to skip bail, calling it “irresponsible behaviour challenging law and order” and urging her to reconsider and avoid the fugitive label.