Chinese Bishop Awarded for Defense of Human Rights

HONG KONG, JUNE 26, 2001 (ZENIT.orgFIDES).- Catholic Bishop Joseph Zen has been awarded a prize for his courage in defending human rights — and for his writing skills.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry

The coadjutor bishop of the Hong Kong Diocese received the Reporter´s Courage Prize during the sixth annual Human Rights Press Awards Ceremony, held at the Foreign Correspondents´ Club on June 16, for an article published in the People´s Daily last Oct. 4.

In the article, Bishop Zen wrote: «We thought such campaigns were a thing of the past,» referring to China´s outcry over the Oct. 1 canonization in Rome of 120 of China´s martyrs.

The bishop had received warnings from the Chinese Liaison Office not to interfere in the «internal affairs» of China, and pressure was put on the diocese to keep its own canonization celebrations «low key.»

Bishop Zen, unable to attend the prize giving ceremony, voiced his surprise. «Press awards are important,» he said. «They draw attention to the role of the media in protecting human rights.»

«We need collaboration, understanding and mutual appreciation between human rights groups and journalists in Hong Kong,» he added. «We all have a difficult job defending human rights at this time.»

These annual awards are co-sponsored by the Hong Kong Journalists Association, Amnesty International- Hong Kong, and the Foreign Correspondents´ Club.

Besides defending the Catholic Church, Bishop Zen has spoken out on China´s harsh treatment of the Falun Gong movement, and the right of abode in Hong Kong of residents´ children living in mainland China.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry


Support ZENIT

If you liked this article, support ZENIT now with a donation