Chinese human rights activist Kwon Pyong fled China on a jet ski last week South Korea, where he was stopped by the Coast Guard after driving 300 kilometers. The man wore a life jacket, helmet, telescope, compass and five fuel containers.
Kwon Pyong was jailed in China after posting a selfie on social media wearing a T-shirt with slogans mocking the president. Xi Jinping in 2016. Kwon, who studied at Iowa State University in the US before returning to China, has long criticized China’s authoritarian rule and strict censorship by the authorities. He also took part in the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong in 2014.
US-based Radio Free Asia reported that Kwon was jailed in 2017 for using “words, images and videos to insult and defame this country’s government and socialist system” on social media.
A South Korean Coast Guard official said the man did not seek shelter or asylum during his investigation. “It seems he decided to flee after feeling the political pressure,” the South Korean activist said. Lee Dae-seon, who visited Kwon in a detention center on Tuesday. “He is currently considering seeking refuge in a third country,” said Lee, who describes himself on his website as an international solidarity activist and head of the Seoul office of the China Dialogue group.