Taiwan condemned the Hong Kong government on Thursday for its "suppression of human rights and freedom," following the arrests of Hong Kong cardinal Joseph Zen (???), Cantopop star Denise Ho (???), and other democracy activists by Hong Kong police on the previous day.
Taiwan's government condemns all forms of misconduct in suppressing human rights and freedom under the false pretense of national security violation, Cabinet spokesman Lo Ping-cheng (???) said at a press briefing.
Citing sources from the media, Lo said the activists had since been released, but urged the Hong Kong government to stop persecuting human rights and freedoms.
His remarks came after Hong Kong media outlets reported on Wednesday that Zen, Ho, and two others had been detained on suspicion of colluding with foreign forces to endanger China's national security.
The four are trustees of the 612 Humanitarian Relief Fund, which provided legal aid to people who took part in the 2019 anti-extradition-law, pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong that were later quashed by security forces, reports said.
Hong Kong's "freedom and prosperity" in the past were admired by everyone, but the implementation of Hong Kong's national security law and crackdown on the anti-extradition-law movement have resulted in the persecution of human rights in recent years, Lo said.
Taiwan's main opposition party, the Kuomintang (KMT), also condemned the arrests in a statement on its Facebook page Thursday, noting that the arrests, which took place just four days after former security chief John Lee was elected as Hong Kong's new chief executive, showed that Hong Kong's democracy was experiencing further suppression.
It is difficult for the Hong Kong people to make their voices heard at this moment, which is why everyone else should not stay silent and must shout loudly and urge the Hong Kong government to "return human rights, democracy, freedom and the rule of law to the Hong Kong society," the KMT said.
Meanwhile, several civil rights groups, including Hong Kong Outlanders, which is made up of Hong Kongers in Taiwan, held a press conference in front of Taiwan's Legislature on Thursday to protest the arrests.
Sky Fung (???), secretary-general of Hong Kong Outlanders, said that the election of John Lee as Hong Kong's new chief executive was to ensure that Hong Kong no longer has democracy and freedom, and to further suppress dissidents.
Lee was the only candidate in the chief executive election, which had 1,461 eligible voters.
Shih Yi-Hsiang (???), secretary general of the Taiwan Association for Human Rights, said that by suppressing the 612 Humanitarian Relief Fund, the Hong Kong government was declaring war on universal human values.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel