On May 11, Hong Kong police arrested Roman Catholic cardinal Joseph Zen and famous democracy activists, lawmaker Margaret Ng Ngoi-yee; singer Denise Ho Wan-sze; former lawmaker Cyd Ho; and former academic Hui Po-keung. The Hong Kong authorities accused Zen and the others of “colluding with foreign forces.”
According to Reuters, police questioned 90-year-old Zen for hours and confiscated his, and the others arrested passports under the national security law before releasing him on bail.
Zen and the other activists are said to run the now-defunct 612 Humanitarian Relief Fund, which helped the anti-government protests of 2019.
Zen, who has long been an advocate of democratic causes in Hong Kong and mainland China, left Chai Wan Police Station without commenting.
South china morning post reported that The Vatican released a statement saying it was monitoring Zen’s arrest carefully. The U.S. and EU governments condemned all of the detentions.
The Hong Kong news outlet said White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre called on authorities in Beijing and Hong Kong “to cease targeting Hong Kong’s advocates and to immediately release [those] who have been unjustly detained and charged, like [Zen] and others.”
According to ABC, Maya Wang, Human Rights Watch China senior researcher, arresting Zen for his peaceful activities “has to be a shocking new low for Hong Kong, illustrating the city’s free fall in human rights in the past two years.”