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'#FreeAgnes' trends on Japan Twitter following arrest of Hong Kong democracy activist

Pro-democracy activist Agnes Chow is seen in this Aug. 31, 2019 file photo taken in Hong Kong. (Mainichi/Shizuya Fukuoka)
Journalist Jun Hori is seen in this Aug. 8, 2019 file photo. (Mainichi)

TOKYO -- The hashtag "FreeAgnes" was trending on Japanese Twitter from the night of Aug. 10 following the arrest of Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Agnes Chow on suspicion of violating the controversial national security law.

    Anchorperson-turned journalist Jun Hori, who had a remote interview with the 23-year-old activist back in May this year, tweeted along with the hashtag and a video of the interview, "She spoke of the importance of raising voices, out of concern for the future of Japan. This time we should stand up for Ms. Chow and for those who have continued to raise their voices in Hong Kong."

    Movie director Kazuya Shiraishi tweeted, "You get arrested for speaking out for democratization. It's just like prewar Japan. Freedom is lost in my beloved Hong Kong," while author Hirotada Ototake wrote, "What we can do now is to speak out in protest (against Chow's arrest). Everyone, please do not become a bystander and face this news," as both added the hashtag.

    Meanwhile, the moment when Chow was being taken away from her home by Hong Kong police was livestreamed, and the video and photos capturing her arrest are being shared online.

    (Japanese original by Masakazu Yui, Web Operation/News Flash Group)

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