In Hong Kong, an American Priest Turned Lawyer Faces China’s Wrath but Keeps the Faith

HONG KONG—In the Sixties, John Clancey was despatched to Hong Kong from a small city in New York state to be a priest ministering to the metropolis’s working poor. He stayed and finally turned himself into an advocate for the metropolis’s powerless individuals.

More than half a century later, the lawyer faces years in prison for his role in the pro-democracy movement in his adopted house.

Mr. Clancey was certainly one of dozens of activists arrested in last week’s roundup of opposition figures—the largest since Beijing imposed a national security law on Hong Kong six months ago. Police accused these focused of subversion after holding an unofficial main election final yr as a part of a plan to win a legislative majority and derail authorities coverage.

During an interview at his workplace in downtown Hong Kong, Mr. Clancey, 79 years outdated, confirmed that he was arrested as a result of he served as treasurer for a pro-democracy group that helped set up the primaries. Now a lawyer, Mr. Clancey is the first American detained beneath the new regulation, underscoring its vast attain and authorities’ willingness to wield it on locals and foreigners alike.

Police confiscated his American passport following his arrest, Mr. Clancey mentioned, although he believes he doesn’t deserve any particular therapy as a U.S. citizen. A spokesman for the U.S. Consulate declined to touch upon his case, citing privateness legal guidelines. A Hong Kong authorities spokeswoman referred to earlier statements saying the metropolis would safeguard nationwide safety and “not tolerate any offense of subversion.”

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