Former UK Consulate staff says China detained and tortured him over Hong Kong protests

While being detained in August, former UK Consulate employee from Hong Kong says he was tortured and pressed for information

A former employee of the UK consulate in Hong Kong said that he was detained and pressed for information regarding the anti-government activists in Hong Kong during his visit to mainland China in August.

Simon Cheng, a former trade and investment officer in the Consulate in Hong Kong, was briefed to work on bringing more investments to Scotland from the Chinese business community and had to travel to the mainland frequently. Since the beginning of the unrest in Hong Kong, Cheng had volunteered for an additional role.

Prostitution charge

Hong Kong protest
Picture for Reference youTube grab/ VOA News

"The British Consulate had instructed staff to collect information about the status of the protests", Cheng tells BBC. The Chinese state-backed newspaper Global Times reported in August that Cheng was detained on the basis of being involved in prostitution. Cheng was detained in the border city of Shenzhen for 15 days.

During the time Cheng was detained Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said that he was detained for violating public security management regulation. The scope behind the legal implications of the Public Security Administration Punishment Laws is broad. Geng continued to say that the matter is internal in nature and called on Britain to stop interfering in the state's internal affairs.

Continuous torture

In the recent report by BBC and Wall Street Journal, Cheng discussed the continuous torture the secret service had put him through. Dominic Raab, the British Foreign Secretary, condemned the Chinese treatment of the consulate employee. The Chinese ambassador has been called in to express the British sentiment towards the torture.

Ambassador Liu Xiaoming said that the UK and the western countries were interfering in the affairs of the state. The claims by Simon Cheng including the unfair treatment of the prisoners taken from Hong Kong raise a wide range of questions including that of Hong Kong's future.

This article was first published on November 20, 2019