House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has criticized the arrest of a Catholic cardinal in Hong Kong, calling it “one of the clearest indications yet of Beijing’s mounting crackdown.” In an editorial published Friday in the Washington Post,
Hong Kong’s National Security Police arrested Cardinal Joseph Zen and four other people earlier this week, but they were later released on bail amid ongoing arrests. The newspaper reported.
The four were involved in the now-dissolved 612 Humanitarian Relief Fund, which, according to the newspaper, paid medical and legal fees to detainees during pro-democracy protests in 2019 and provided other financial aid.
The five detainees are money managers and their work in the fund was mentioned when they were arrested. They were charged with colluding with a foreigner and detained under the Hong Kong National Security Act.
Zain’s arrest is one of the clearest indications yet of Beijing’s deteriorating performance as Hong Kong fights for its freedoms – and on Beijing’s growing desperation and fear of losing this battle. “This persecution is actually a sign of weakness, not a sign of strength,” Pelosi wrote.
Pelosi urged others to condemn the arrests, which she called “an affront to religious freedom, political freedom and human rights.”
“As I said before, if we don’t talk about human rights in China because of commercial interests, we lose all moral authority to speak out about human rights anywhere in the world,” she added.
Beijing imposed a national security law on Hong Kong in 2020, giving China greater control over punishing activists and protesters, and reducing Hong Kong’s jurisdiction over the cases.
The United States was among the countries that criticized the law.
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