Former Kowloon City district councillor Timothy Lee has become the latest pro-democracy politician to leave Hong Kong after the Beijing-imposed national security law came into force last year.
Lee wrote on social media on Monday that he was already overseas, but didn’t reveal where.
Writing on his Facebook page, the localist alleged the "regime" has been closing in and the "political and legal purge" against the city’s pro-democracy camp and protesters has not stopped.
"Even taking part in an election can be a crime of endangering national security," he said, referring to charges of subversion levelled against 47 pro-democracy figures over a primary that was held prior to the cancelled Legco elections in 2020.
Lee planned to run in the now-scrapped Legco "superseat" constituency last year.
He was running on the same ticket as one of the national security suspects, Yuen Long district councillor Wong Pak-yu.
But Lee had been arrested for fraud over Wong and his election expenses, but was not charged.
He and other pro-democracy district councillors had also wanted to create a public platform for policy discussion, but abandoned the plan after the government said it would be illegal.
"Leaving the home I was born and raised is a sorrowful last resort. I feel sorry and ashamed, but we must carry on believing in Hong Kong," Lee wrote on Twitter.
"I am not sure of where I next head to, but I am certain that Hong Kong is and will be my only home, regardless of my physical location."
Lee was unseated from his Kowloon City district council seat in March after the High Court ruled that he was unduly elected as he didn't have the proof that he was supported by certain pro-democracy figures, as claimed in election advertisements.
Lee also announced he has resigned from the standing committee of the convocation of the Chinese University – a little over a week after he was elected.
After the national security law came into force on June 30, 2020, a number of pro-democracy activists and politicians have left Hong Kong, including Nathan Law, Sunny Cheung, Ted Hui and Dennis Kwok.