Hours before the national security law was enacted, Nathan Law, who was the youngest lawmaker elected to the Hong Kong legislature in 2016, went into exile in the U.K.
Unlike others who are keeping a low profile, Law says he has made it his mission to continue advocating for democracy in Hong Kong.
“The challenges that I face as a political activist in Hong Kong are different from the challenges I face as an exile activist,” he says from London. “I have to talk to policy-makers, talk to the media to explain things in a way that they understand — and to connect what I want them to do to their own interest.”
Despite these changes, both in where he lives and the work he does, Law says he’s trying to adapt.
“I think it’s a very rewarding journey for me,” he says.
In other ways, however, it’s easier to get media attention in London than in Hong Kong, as press freedom has plummeted alongside the upswing of China’s influence, according to Reporters Without Borders.
In 2002, when the Press Freedom Index was first published, Hong Kong was ranked 18 out of 180 countries. Last year it plunged to 80, and this year it sits at 148.
China, meanwhile, is ranked at 176.