• By The Financial District

HK Cardinal Joseph Zen Under Trial For Handling Humanitarian Fund For Protesters

Joseph Cardinal Zen went on trial Monday, Sept. 26, 2022, over a now-dissolved activists' fund in one of Hong Kong's highest-profile cases against a pro-democracy figure, Pak Yiu reported for Nikkei Asia.


Photo Insert: Cardinal Zen was often seen quietly taking part in street demonstrations that were a regular feature in the city before Beijing's security law effectively criminalized all protest and, critics say, crushed civil liberties.



The 90-year-old, among the most senior Catholic clerics in Asia, has for decades been a prominent critic of China's human rights record and backed protesters as Hong Kong was engulfed in anti-government demonstrations in 2019 that led to a Beijing-imposed national security law the following year.


Zen, who was ordained in 1961 and named Hong Kong's sixth bishop in 2002, is widely revered for being outspoken on human rights issues and political freedom.



A steadfast supporter of democratic reform in Hong Kong, Zen was named a cardinal in 2006, the second-highest rank among Catholic clergy below the pope.


Born in Shanghai to Catholic parents in 1932, the teenage Zen fled to Hong Kong as the Chinese Communist Party took control of the country. He later joined the Catholic Salesians congregation.


All the news: Business man in suit and tie smiling and reading a newspaper near the financial district.

He openly criticized a proposed national security bill in 2003 and regularly took part in Hong Kong's annual candlelight vigil for the victims of the bloody 1989 Tiananmen crackdown until it was banned in 2020.


He was often seen quietly taking part in street demonstrations that were a regular feature in the city before Beijing's security law effectively criminalized all protest and, critics say, crushed civil liberties. Zen has been a fierce critic of both the Hong Kong and Chinese governments.


Government & politics: Politicians, government officials and delegates standing in front of their country flags in a political event in the financial district.

Under his stewardship, the city's Catholic diocese morphed into a social organization that routinely locked horns with authorities over political decisions. After his retirement in 2009, Zen remained committed to public service and the pro-democracy movement.


His trial this week, and that of several other activists, is linked to their participation as trustees in the now-defunct 612 Humanitarian Relief Fund, which supplied legal and medical bill assistance to protesters.


Business: Business men in suite and tie in a work meeting in the office located in the financial district.

Zen and his co-defendants -- singer Denise Ho, former lawmakers Margaret Ng and Cyd Ho, scholar Hui Po-keung and Sze Ching-wee -- if convicted, face a fine of HK$10,000 ($1,270) but no jail time. They were charged with failing to properly register the fund.



WEEKLY FEATURE : MVP Group Keeps Lights On During Pandemic



Optimize asset flow management and real-time inventory visibility with RFID tracking devices and custom cloud solutions.
Sweetmat disinfection mat