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The former leader of the Baptist Convention of Hong Kong, Reverend Lo Hing-choi (羅慶才), has fled to the United Kingdom to escape political persecution amid a crackdown on pro-democracy figures.

The Baptist Convention of Hong Kong announced on its website that Reverend Lo submitted his resignation on April 20 “for personal reasons”, just ten days before the end of his term as president.

As Hong Kong news outlet Mingpao reported, Lo had thought about emigrating since the beginning of the year. He decided to move to the United Kingdom to “retire and make a fresh start” after observing the “changes in Hong Kong’s social environment”.

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The 69-year-old Reverend told Mingpao that he had not informed the Convention of his resignation until shortly before his departure.

In June 2020 Lo spoke out against Hong Kong’s National Security Law (NSL), saying that it would “only give those in authority even more unchecked powers” without providing any “protection or benefits for Hongkongers”.

After the enactment of the law, leading pro-democracy activists have been prosecuted and the government has launched an unprecedented assault on the free media.