Trial opens for Hong Kong’s Cardinal Joseph Zen

The trial against Chinese Cardinal Joseph Zen and five other defendants formally opened in Hong Kong today.

The highly controversial proceedings that could end in heavy fines or jail time have been widely criticised as an attack against democracy.

Zen, 90, and five others were arrested in May under a Beijing-imposed national security law for allegedly colluding with foreign forces.

Specifically, they are charged with failing to apply for local society registration for the now defunct 612 Humanitarian Fund between July 16, 2019, and October 31, 2021. The fund, for which they all held leadership positions, provided financial and legal aid to pro-democracy protesters who took to the streets in 2019 to oppose a controversial bill allowing extradition to mainland China.