Cardinal accused of collusion

Cardinal accused of collusion

Cardinal accused of collusion

A Catholic leader who has been referred to as "the conscience of Hong Kong" is in "hot water" with the Communist Party.

Jonathan Dingler of ChinaAid says Communist officials arrested 90-year-old Roman Catholic Cardinal Joseph Zen as well as singer and actor Denise Ho, ex-legislator Margaret Ng, and academic Dr Hui Po Keung.

"Over his long period in Hong Kong, he's been a very active voice, very outspoken advocate for pro-democracy issues and for religious freedom and things of this nature," Dingler tells about Zen.

So he is highly respected within and outside of religious circles as he has fought steadfastly for human rights. Cardinal Zen, who is one of the trustees of a humanitarian fund that helped pay legal expenses for democracy activists and protestors, seems to have become a target since pro-China John Lee became Hong Kong's new chief executive.

"Cardinal Zen and four of these other trustees were arrested pretty much immediately," Dingler reports. "His help providing some funds for these protesters and advocates is really what put him in hot water."

The funding organization has since been shut down, and Zen and the trustees have been released on bond. They could, however, face trial on charges of colluding with foreign forces – a conviction that carries a heavy penalty.