No room for dissidents in Hong Kong

China has continued its clamp down on the opposition in Hong Kong, with the arrest of Cardinal Joseph Zen, a 90-year-old retired catholic cleric.

What was he arrested for?
The retired Catholic cleric was arrested by Hong Kong police on national security charges. He’s reported to have been a critic of China’s control of religion, as well as Beijing’s political monopoly. He’s said to have also criticized efforts by the Vatican to reach a working arrangement with the ruling Communist Party. Zen was released on bail Wednesday night.

How did his actions affect national security?
He was arrested alongside former trustees of the 612 Humanitarian Support Fund, which provides assistance to people arrested during the 2019 anti-government protests. The police, in a statement, said the former trustees were suspected of endangering national security by making requests of foreign countries or overseas agencies and calling for sanctions against Hong Kong.

What is the cleric saying?
Zen has not yet made a comment since he was arrested. He has been very critical of Beijing’s negative disposition to religion, and warned the Vatican about giving too much control of the church to Beijing, as that will put the country’s Catholic followers in a big cage. “The Communist government just wants the church to surrender, because they want complete control, not only of the Catholic Church but all the religions,” Zen said in 2018.

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