Taiwan Condemns Hong Kong Mass Crackdowns

Taiwan denounced the Hong Kong government on Thursday for its “suppression of human rights and freedom” following the arrests of Hong Kong cardinal Joseph Zen, Cantopop star Denise Ho, and other democracy advocates.

Cabinet spokesman Lo Ping-cheng, in a report by Central News Agency (CNA), stated Taiwan’s government opposes all sorts of misbehavior in suppressing human rights and freedom under the guise of national security.

Lo’s comments came after Hong Kong media sites claimed on Wednesday that Zen, Ho, and two other people had been arrested on suspicion of collaborating with foreign forces to jeopardize China’s national security.

Zen, Ho, and two other people were detained for being associated with a now-defunct organization 612 Humanitarian Relief that helped protesters in financial need. 

Hong Kong Police, in a separate report by BBC, claimed the group was suspected of harming China’s national security by appealing to foreign governments or organizations to impose sanctions on Hong Kong.

Maya Wang, a senior China researcher at Human Rights Watch, called the arrest putting “Hong Kong’s fundamental freedoms under arrest”.

“Arresting a 90-year-old cardinal for his peaceful activities has to be a shocking new low for Hong Kong’s police, the latest example of the city’s human rights freefall in the past two years,” Wang said in a statement posted on Human Rights Watch website. 

The Vatican is concerned about the cardinal’s arrest, spokesman Matteo Bruni said in a statement.

The Catholic Diocese of Hong Kong has also spoken out, saying they are “extremely concerned about the condition and safety of Cardinal Joseph Zen”.

“We urge the Hong Kong Police and the judicial authorities to handle Cardinal Zen’s case in accordance with justice,” they added.

In a related development, Matteo Buni, Director of the Holy See Press Office, expressed concern over the arrest of Cardinal Zen.

Bruni said in a separate report by Vatican News that the Holy See “is following the situation with extreme attention”. 

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