A Hong Kong protester who was jailed in mainland China after a failed attempt to flee to Taiwan has returned to Hong Kong after completing her two-year prison term.

Quinn Moon was among a group of 12 activists caught by the mainland Chinese coastguard in August 2020, when they tried to leave the city on a speedboat heading to Taiwan. They were arrested on suspicion of illegal border crossing. Most of those on board were on bail pending trial over protest-related offences, including rioting, arson and making explosives.

quinn moon Hong Kong Twelve
Quinn Moon (in black hood) was brought to the Tin Shui Wai police station on August 22, after finished serving a two-year jail term in mainland China. Photo: Peter Lee/HKFP.

Moon was found guilty in a mainland Chinese court of organising an illegal border crossing and was sentenced to two years in prison in the Provincial Women’s Prison in Guangdong after spending four months in detention in Shenzhen. She was 33 when apprehended.

She was handed over to the Hong Kong police on Monday morning and remanded at the Tin Shui Wai Police Station, where she is expected to face arrest over an alleged bomb making case from early 2020.

Ten of the 12 Hongkongers have already returned to the city. Only Tang Kai-yin remains in prison, where he is serving a three-year sentence for organising the escape attempt.

Other individuals on the speedboat included activist Andy Li, who was then under investigation for an alleged conspiracy involving pro-democracy media tycoon Jimmy Lai to request foreign sanctions on Hong Kong and Chinese officials.

12 detainees
A minivan believed to be carrying one of the eight Hongkongers arrives in Tin Shui Wai Police Station on March 22, 2021. Photo: RTHK screenshot.

The mainland Chinese courts decided not to prosecute teenagers Liu Tsz-man and Hoang Lam-phuc, who were sent back to Hong Kong on December 30, 2020. Eight others were handed over to the Hong Kong authorities in March this year after serving seven months in mainland prisons.

Apart from Li, who has been separately charged under the national security law, those who have returned faced an additional charge of perverting the course of justice on top of their original protest-related charges.

Six of them pleaded guilty to their new charges in July.

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Peter Lee is a reporter for HKFP. He was previously a freelance journalist at Initium, covering political and court news. He holds a Global Communication bachelor degree from CUHK.