Topic: Hong Kong cardinal Joseph Zen arrested under China's security law
Hong Kong cardinal Joseph Zen arrested under China's security law
One of the Catholic Church's most senior members has been arrested in Hong Kong for breaking China's national security law, police have confirmed.
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Cardinal Joseph Zen, 90, is one of four people detained for being associated with a now-defunct organisation that helped protesters in financial need.
The others are a Cantopop singer and actor Denise Ho, ex-legislator Margaret Ng, and academic Dr Hui Po Keung.
They are accused of colluding with foreign forces.
If found guilty, they could face life in prison. Human Rights Watch called it a "shocking new low for Hong Kong."
Hong Kong Police told the BBC that the group was suspected of appealing to foreign countries or organisations to impose sanctions on Hong Kong, hence threatening China's national security.
Cardinal Zen fled Shanghai for Hong Kong after the communists took over China 70 years ago, and is a former bishop of Hong Kong. He has long been a critic of the government in Beijing, speaking out for Catholics in mainland China and for more democracy in Hong Kong.
He once publicly admonished the Vatican for "selling out" to China by forcing bishops to retire in favour of replacements picked by Beijing.
"Arresting a 90-year-old cardinal 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," Human Rights Watch said.
The Vatican is concerned about the cardinal's arrest, spokesman Matteo Bruni said in a statement.