Hong Kong 'Umbrella' movement leader freed from prison

Hong Kong Umbrella movement leader Chan Kin-man walked free from prison on Saturday (March 14).

The former sociology professor smiled and waved while supporters chanted pro-democracy slogans. (UPSOT)

Reverend Chu Yiu-ming, who co-founded the movement with Chan, turned up in a yellow sweater, a color that symbolized the 2014 movement.

(SOUNDBITE) (Cantonese) HONG KONG DEMOCRACY ACTIVIST CHAN KIN-MAN , SAYING:

"Life in prison was difficult, but I have no regret at all as this is a necessary price to pay for fighting for democracy. I think after the last few months, Hong Kong people understand more why we had to use civil disobedience to fight for freedom."

61-year old Chan, is one of the three leaders of the pro-democracy movement in 2014, aiming to push for full democracy in the Chinese-ruled city.

He was found guilty last year of conspiracy to commit public nuisance for his role in planning and mobilizing supporters.

The Umbrella protesters staged a 79-day sit-in that blocked major roads in the city, bringing the Asian financial hub to a standstill.


The symbolic umbrella tactic re-emerged last year during the sometimes violent anti-government protests triggered by a now withdrawn extradition bill.

Chan said he understood why the young protesters were at times violent.

SOUNDBITE) (Cantonese) HONG KONG DEMOCRACY ACTIVIST CHAN KIN-MAN , SAYING:

"The government's rule was 'fair, open, impartial"; is the rule still adopted by our government now? How can we not be disappointed by the government? That's why I understand some young people resorted to intense actions.''