Nov 20, 2019 - World

Ex-U.K. consulate worker says Chinese police tortured him

Protesters outside the British Consulate Central in Hong Kong

Protesters outside the British Consulate Central in Hong Kong on Oct. 23. Photo: Vernon Yuen/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Simon Cheng, a former employee of the United Kingdom's consulate in Hong Kong, said in a statement published Wednesday, that Chinese secret police tortured him in early August to obtain information about alleged foreign interference in the protests that have engulfed the city for months.

The big picture: Cheng's accusations could further provoke the ongoing violent protests in the former British colony that started June against a bill that would allow extraditions to China. His allegations have also increased tensions between the U.K. and China over human rights abuses.

Detail: Cheng said the police beat him, deprived him of sleep and hung him in painful poses for hours over a 15-day period. After his release, the Chinese authorities said he confessed to breaking the law.

What they're saying: Dominic Raab, the British foreign secretary, said he summoned a meeting with China's London ambassador to discuss “the brutal and disgraceful treatment of Simon in violation of China’s international obligations," according to the NYT.

  • Geng Shuang, a spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, criticized the U.K for summoning its ambassador and reiterated a statement by the police in the city near Hong Kong where Cheng said he was held, saying that they protected his rights.

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