Chung Kim-wah, deputy executive director of the Hong Kong Public Opinion Research Institute, confirmed his departure, leaving the city for Britain on April 25; he said he could no longer speak safely and had to go before being accused of some wrongdoing by the regime.

“I wish my respected friend Cheung Chiu-hung and his family a happy life in Canada,” Chung wrote on Facebook on Wednesday morning.

In February, the social welfare veteran Cheung was sentenced to three weeks in jail on a contempt charge for protesting against a rival assuming control in a chaotic Legislative Council meeting in 2020.

Replying to Chung’s Facebook post, Cheung said he will need to spend more time taking care of his daughter and his family under the current situation. Cheung has a son and two daughters, including one with a severe intellectual disability.

“We are still close to each other, no matter in any corner of the world, and we will never forget why we started.

“I am not yet in a stable situation now, but at least it is safe, and my basic freedoms no longer need to be granted by those in power,” Cheung wrote.

Cheung, 65, was born in Macau and educated in Hong Kong and the US. However, he gave up the US citizenship he obtained to run for the legislature in 2004, representing the social welfare sector.

Since then, he has been in and out of the Legislative Council over a span of 12 years until 2020, having been known as a prominent advocate for ethnic minorities and the underprivileged.

He resigned with 14 other colleagues in protest against the disqualification of four of their peers in the same year.

He had since kept a low profile, only commenting on social issues occasionally through social media platforms.