The Arrest of Cardinal Zen Marks a New Low in Hong Kong

The arrest this week of 90-year-old Cardinal Joseph Zen marks a new low in China’s destruction of Hong Kong’s democracy. Cardinal Zen, the Roman Catholic bishop of Hong Kong from 2002 through 2009, was arrested along with other prominent activists, including lawmaker Margaret Ng and pop star and gay-rights activist Denise Ho. Their alleged crime? Involvement in an organization that provided bail and legal counsel to those arrested during the 2019 pro-democracy demonstrations.

China’s strategy for outlawing dissent has evolved since the brutal crackdown on protesters in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square 33 years ago. It no longer relies on tanks; in Hong Kong, it is silently smothering opposition.


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