Cardinal, pop star bailed in latest Hong Kong security arrests

Denise Ho is a popular Hong Kong singer and an outspoken advocate for LGBTQ rights

A Catholic cardinal critical of Beijing was released on bail by Hong Kong authorities, local media reported late Wednesday, as his arrest under the city’s national security law prompted US demands that he be freed. 

Retired cardinal Joseph Zen, 90, was seen in media footage waving to reporters as he left a police station in the city hours after his arrest, but he did not give a statement.

Cantonese pop singer Denise Ho, who was also among a group of veteran democracy advocates arrested under the law, was similarly released on bail, local media said.

Police said in a statement on Wednesday that two men and two women, aged between 45 and 90, had been detained for conspiring to collude with foreign forces to endanger national security.

Zen is a former bishop of Hong Kong and one of the most senior Catholic clerics in the Chinese business hub. 

Ho is a popular local vocalist and an outspoken advocate for LGBTQ rights.

Police said those arrested were trustees of the “612 Humanitarian Relief Fund”, which helped arrested protesters pay their legal and medical bills.

On Tuesday, scholar Hui became the first among the group to be arrested as he tried to leave via the airport to take up an academic post in Europe.

The offence of “foreign collusion” was introduced in a sweeping national security law that Beijing imposed on Hong Kong in response to the democracy protests.

One of the group’s trustee, democracy activist Cyd Ho, has already been jailed for unauthorised assembly in a separate case.

In its Wednesday statement, police said it was also seeking to charge the trustees and an additional person for failing to properly register the group in accordance with law.

Academics who played prominent roles in Hong Kong’s now decimated democracy movement have often found themselves dropped by universities and are struggling to find work.


Originally published as Cardinal, pop star bailed in latest Hong Kong security arrests

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