Jailed democracy activist Alex Chow has been fighting for better treatment for other prisoners, a member of his legal team has said.

Chow was sentenced to seven months in jail on August 17 – along with fellow activists Joshua Wong and Nathan Law – over their involvement in the Civic Square clash which sparked the 2014 Occupy protests.

Alex Chow. File Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

At the Pik Uk Correctional Institution, he successfully fought for an earlier delivery time for inmate’s newspapers.

Donna Yau, a member of his legal team, said Chow was very angry during her visit two weeks ago: “I have never seen him so mad,” she told a D100 online radio programme on Friday. “The Correctional Service Department gives newspapers [to prisoners] at 4pm everyday… and he said: ‘are we reading evening newspapers?’”

Prisoners also have limited access to television news.

“So he tried to fight for a better delivery hours, and eventually it was moved forward to between 11am to noon,” Yau added. “He’s still fighting for those in need in prison, whilst we are still free outside. We should not give up either,” she said.

Pik Uk Correctional Institution. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Chow has been learning about Buddhism. Yau said recently Chow he has been reading the Heart Sutra.

“He wishes to calm his mind,” she said. “He’s very positive. He wishes to use this period of time to improve himself by reading a lot.”

Yau said Chow – who was studying a masters’ degree in the UK – did not expect to go to prison when he first returned to the city for the summer break: “He had a mission. He wanted to unite all factions in the pro-democracy camp, including localists, so that they can sit down and talk together,” she said.

Chow was due to start a PhD programme in geography at the University of California, Berkeley but he was unable to attend.

Meanwhile, political parties League of Social Democrats and Demosisto urged supporters to write birthday messages on Facebook pages of jailed activists Raphael Wong and Joshua Wong, which they will send to the duo before their birthdays later this month.

Kris Cheng

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.