Jailed Hong Kong ex-localist leader Edward Leung to seek early release – report

©Hong Kong Free Press

Activist Edward Leung has applied for early release ahead ahead of completing his six-year jail term for rioting, local media have reported.

Leung was jailed in 2018 after being convicted of rioting in Mong Kok in 2016. HK01 cited a source as saying that the 29-year-old ex-localist leader was to seek release under supervision. He is currently serving time at the maximum security Shek Pik prison on Lantau.

Edward Leung. Photo: Wikimedia Commons/VOA/Iris Tong.

According to the Prisoners (Release under Supervision Ordinance) Ordinance, prisoners serving a sentence of more than three years – who have served no less than one half or 20 months of their sentences – are eligible for early release.

The primary objective of the early release scheme, as detailed on the official website, is to facilitate prisoners early reintegration into society and reduce recidivism for the benefit of society.

Applications will be reviewed by an advisory board under the Security Bureau that is presided over by former acting registrar of the Court of Final Appeal Christopher Chan. The board comprises of five other members including a reverend and doctor.

The board shall then submit their recommendation to the Secretary for Security John Lee for consideration. Upon a successful application, released prisoners will be subject to supervision by a person specified by the Commissioner of Correctional Services and shall comply with requirements and conditions laid down by the Chief Executive.

The “Fishball Revolution” Photo: Kris Cheng.

A police clearance of street hawkers sparked clashes in Mong Kok during Lunar New Year in 2016. Leung – a candidate of the 2016 legislative by-election for the New Territories East constituency – was present for his campaign. A jury unanimously found him guilty of rioting and assault charges, though he was acquitted of inciting riots.

In April, he lost the appeal against his jail term after netizens raised over HK$350,000 to hire a senior counsel.