New Hong Kong Leader John Lee Arrests 90-year-old Cardinal Joseph Zen and Pop Singer Denise Ho

It’s only been four days since a special committee elected hard-line John Lee to govern Hong Kong to Beijing’s will, and the message is clear: there will be no tolerance for intolerance. past or present support of pro-democracy protesters.

The elderly cleric, Cardinal Joseph Zen, was arrested as he tried to board a flight to Germany on Tuesday. Also arrested were Denise Ho, 45, a beloved pop singer and actress, along with lawyer Margaret Ng and scholar Hui Po-keung. Although they were later released on bail, they were not allowed to leave the country.

The arrest of a 90-year-old Catholic cardinal and one of the city’s most famous Cantopop singers for “collusion with foreign powers” is irrefutable proof that the project is “one nation/ two systems” has failed and Hong Kong is now officially under China’s pro-democracy groups, said Wednesday in a statement.

Pro-democracy group specifically spoke out against the pandemic as China passed a national security law that would allow so-called dissident residents in Hong Kong to be tried and punished in mainland China. green. Hong Kong’s return to China from British rule in 1997 marked the beginning of the struggle to maintain its autonomy, which is now clearly losing autonomy. The increasingly strict legislation has caused a drastic pushback.

Zen was once an ardent supporter — mentally and financially — of pro-democracy protesters, who frequently protested China’s increasingly harsh repression of freedoms. surname.

The Vatican has issued a statement of concern for the safety of Zen, noting that Hong Kong is traditionally not part of China’s crackdown on Catholic worship. “The Holy See has learned of the news of Cardinal Zen’s arrest with concern and is monitoring the development of the situation very closely,” the press office said in a statement on Wednesday. the press office said in a statement on Wednesday. It is understood that Pope Francis – who has broken down the line between the Catholic church supported by the Communist Party and the church supported by the Vatican long ago – could intervene directly on Zen’s behalf.

In 2021, the Vatican severed an agreement with the Chinese government that only allowed Chinese Catholics to worship publicly in Communist-backed churches. The deal means the Vatican has recognized the cardinals and other bishops named by the Communist party, something previous popes have refused to do. “China is not easy, but I believe we should not give up on dialogue,” Francis told critics at the time.

The arrest of Zen – who is a Vatican-sponsored cardinal, not a director of the Chinese government – is officially due to his participation in the 612 Humanitarian Relief Fund, which provides financial assistance to people living in poverty. pro-democracy protesters who have been jailed for the past few years. The group has been under mild investigation by Hong Kong leader Carrie Lamb, but is now under more scrutiny for past and present activity since Lee’s election.

The US State Department also expressed concern about the arrests. Kurt Campbell, regional coordinator for the Indo-Pacific, said the “grip” was worrying, telling an online audience on Wednesday: “All I can tell you is me. think that we are increasingly troubled by the steps in Hong Kong to pressure and eliminate civil society. ” New Hong Kong Leader John Lee Arrests 90-year-old Cardinal Joseph Zen and Pop Singer Denise Ho


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