JOSHUA Wong, the student leader who became the face of Hong Kong’s “Umbrella Movement” democracy protests nearly five years ago, will be released from prison today, his party said late Sunday.

In a statement, Demosisto — the party he co-founded — said the 22-year-old activist would be released from Lai Chi Kok Correctional Institute at 10.30am (0230 GMT).

Wong was sent back to prison in May after he lost an attempt to quash a jail sentence over his leadership of the huge democracy protests he helped lead in 2014.

His release comes as Hong Kong is rocked by another outbreak of huge protests, this time sparked by mass public opposition to a plan to allow extraditions to China.

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Organisers said some two million people turned out on Sunday for the mammoth rally which was still going on as the announcement was made that Wong would be released.

Wong, who was 17 when the 2014 protests began, was jailed for three months in January 2018 on a contempt charge after pleading guilty to obstructing the clearance of a major protest camp.

He served only six days of that sentence before being released on bail, pending an appeal.

In mid-May, however, a senior judge said Wong must return to jail — albeit for a reduced sentence of two months.

It was not clear whether his early release was a gesture from the authorities or procedure.

A release today would mean he will have served exactly half his sentence, a common policy in Hong Kong for prisoners who exhibit good behaviour. © Agence France-Presse

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