WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, joined Senators Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Angus King (I-Maine), and Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) in introducing a resolution condemning the arrest of Cardinal Zen in Hong Kong. The resolution also reaffirms the United States’ commitment to supporting democracy, autonomy, religious freedom, and human rights in Hong Kong.
“The story of Cardinal Zen is only one of many such instances of religious persecution and infringement on democratic freedom in China and around the world,” stated the resolution. “Hong Kong is devolving into an increasingly repressive society where no one resisting government tyranny is safe, including religious leaders and communities.”
The resolution “urges the Chinese and Hong Kong authorities to cease targeting Hong Kong’s civil society actors and to immediately release and drop all charges against all political prisoners who have been unjustly detained and charged.”
In May 2022, Hong Kong authorities arrested Cardinal Zen, a 90-year-old bishop emeritus of Hong Kong and outspoken critic of China’s ruling Communist Party, on spurious charges. This arrest comes after China imposed a “national security law” in 2020 crushing Hong Kong’s opposition movement, overhauling its electoral system to provide Beijing with even more control, silencing free media, and crippling its once-vibrant civil society. The resolution calls for all charges to be immediately dropped against Cardinal Zen.
Text of the resolution can be found here.