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05/16/2022 Hong Kong (International Christian Concern) – On May 14, Cardinal Charles Maung Bo, the archbishop of Yangon, who is also the president of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences (FABC), slams the Chinese authorities for the recent arrest of Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun, bishop emeritus of Hong Kong.

In the Saturday statement, Cardinal Bo said, “Hong Kong used to be one of Asia’s freest and most open cities. Today, it has been transformed into a police state.”

Addressing the May 11 arrest of the 90-year-old Hong Kong Cardinal, “My brother Cardinal, His Eminence Joseph Zen, was arrested and faces charges simply because he served as a trustee of a fund which provided legal aid to activists facing court cases. In any system where the rule of law exists, providing assistance to help people facing prosecution meet their legal fees is a proper and accepted right. How can it be a crime to help accused persons have legal defense and representation?” Bo added.

He expressed his “profound concern about the situation for human rights and threats to religious freedom in Hong Kong,” noting that freedoms of expression, press, and assembly have all been dismantled. He added there are signs that religious freedom “is threatened” and that religious leader are self-censoring.

The Burmese cardinal asked for prayers for the region and that people “speak out for freedom and justice.”

Hong Kong’s Chief Executive-elect, John Lee, who is a Catholic, dismisses international criticism over the recent arrests of Cardinal Zen and four other opposition activists. He insists that people who break the law need to be held accountable regardless of their background or beliefs and that Hong Kong remains to be a place with the rule of law.

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