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Ex-UK Consulate Staffer Says He Was Tortured in China

Simon Cheng says interrogators demanded information on Hong Kong protests
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 21, 2019 1:00 AM CST
In this Sunday, July 7, 2019, photo, thousands of protesters carrying the British flag march near the harbor of Hong Kong.   (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
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(Newser) – A former employee of the British Consulate in Hong Kong says he was detained and tortured by Chinese secret police trying to extract information about massive anti-government protests in the territory. Simon Cheng said in an online statement and media interviews that he was hooded, beaten, deprived of sleep, and chained to an X-shaped frame by plainclothes and uniformed agents as they sought information on activists involved in the protests and the role they believed Britain played in the demonstrations, the AP reports. British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab summoned the Chinese ambassador in London to demand Beijing investigate. Cheng, who worked for the consulate as a trade and investment officer, was detained at the border with Hong Kong in August after returning from a one-day business trip.

"I summoned the Chinese Ambassador to express our outrage at the brutal and disgraceful treatment of Simon in violation of China’s international obligations,” Raab said in a statement. "I have made clear we expect the Chinese authorities to investigate and hold those responsible to account." Chinese police in August announced Cheng’s release after 15 days of administrative detention but gave no details of the reasons behind his detention. Cheng said the interrogators expected him to confess that Britain had instigated the protests by donating money and materials and that he personally led that effort and paid the bail of mainland participants. Cheng no longer works at the consulate and has fled to a third country.

(Read more Hong Kong stories.)

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