The final Governor of Hong Kong is urging “the Vatican and Catholics in every single place” to protest the arrest of Catholic Cardinal Joseph Zen.
The Vatican has voiced “concern” after Cardinal Zen’s arrest on Wednesday.
Zen is among the most senior spiritual figures in Asia. He has been vocal in his criticism of Beijing and a controversial Nationwide Safety Legislation that got here into power within the former British colony two years in the past.
He was taken to the Wan Chai police station and charged with “collusion with international forces” over his involvement in a humanitarian charity.
The 612 Humanitarian Reduction Fund provided monetary help to pro-democracy protesters to assist pay for his or her authorized and medical bills.
He has since been launched on bail.
Lord Patten, the final Governor of Hong Kong and a Patron of the UK-based Hong Kong Watch, mentioned the cardinal’s arrest was “one more outrageous instance of how the Chinese language Communist Get together is hellbent on turning Hong Kong right into a police state”.
“The arrest of different first rate and courageous Hong Kong residents on the similar time doubles down on the wickedness of what the Communists are doing,” he mentioned.
“Beijing has, maybe suitably, imposed a policeman, identified for his disregard for human rights, as Hong Kong’s subsequent Chief Govt. He has introduced discredit on the Hong Kong police service, demonstrating that he wouldn’t know the rule of regulation if it hit him within the eye with a plastic baton rod.
“I hope that the Vatican and Catholics in every single place will protest in regards to the arrest of an amazing Catholic pastor and advocate, and pray for his security and wellbeing and that of the entire of Hong Kong.
“This can presumably drive a nail into the coffin of the makes an attempt by the Vatican to determine some type of cope with China’s Communists, who regard any type of faith as a menace to their tyrannous grip on energy.”
Zen, 90, was the Bishop of the Diocese of Hong Kong from 2002 to 2009.
Responding to information of his arrest, Vatican spokeman Matteo Bruni mentioned, “The Holy See has realized with concern the information of Cardinal Zen’s arrest and is following the evolution of the scenario with excessive consideration.”
Additionally arrested have been barrister Margaret Ng, singer Denise Ho and tutorial Hui Po-keung.
The Nationwide Safety Legislation was handed in June 2020 and led to the arrest and imprisonment of a lot of pro-democracy activists, together with Christian, Joshua Wong.
After the implementation of the regulation, Cardinal Zen mentioned he was prepared to be arrested and wouldn’t keep silent.
“I shall be prudent; I don’t search to offend, however once I deem it vital, I’ll say it,” he mentioned.
“If such proper and correct phrases are thought of to be in opposition to their regulation, I’ll endure all of the suing, trials and arrests. Quite a few predecessors have endured equally. We’ve got seen how God has all the time helped them.”
Commenting on the arrests, Benedict Rogers, Hong Kong Watch’s Chief Govt, mentioned they “sign past a doubt that Beijing intends to accentuate its crackdown on primary rights and freedoms in Hong Kong”
“We urge the worldwide neighborhood to shine a light-weight on this brutal crackdown and name for the instant launch of those activists,” he mentioned.
Lord Alton of Liverpool, additionally a Patron of Hong Kong Watch, has raised his considerations in regards to the arrests with the UK’s International Secretary, Liz Truss.
He mentioned: “Arresting a 90 year-old Cardinal, together with considered one of Hong Kong’s most internationally revered barristers, a preferred singer and a distinguished scholar takes the Chinese language Communist Get together regime and its proxies in Hong Kong to even decrease depths of outrageous inhumanity of their repression of dissent within the metropolis.
“The worldwide neighborhood should converse swiftly and clearly in condemnation of those arrests, and should accompany rhetoric with motion to sign that Beijing will now not be allowed to behave with impunity and get away with such egregious injustice with out consequence.”