Published: Fri, November 22, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

China tortured me over Hong Kong, says former British consulate employee

China tortured me over Hong Kong, says former British consulate employee

British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab released a statement calling Cheng's mistreatment tantamount to torture. "I have made clear we expect the Chinese authorities to investigate and hold those responsible to account".

China's foreign ministry responded angrily to the allegations and the summoning of the ambassador at a daily briefing on Wednesday.

In a graphic Facebook post, Cheng recalled in detail the abuse he suffered at the hands of his communist captures, saying that he was bound "handcuffed and shackled" in a "steep X-Cross doing a spread-eagled pose" which he said lasted for hours at a time, resulting in extreme pain.

According to a report in the New York Times, Cheng said that the information gathering included things like joining social media groups and talking to pro-democracy demonstrators.

After returning to Hong Kong, Cheng soon fled, explaining that it has become too unsafe for him to live there.

Ambassador Liu Xiaoming will "by no means accept the so-called concerns or complaints raised by the British side", ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said.

Cheng said he was treated more leniently after 11 days' detention, which he linked to worldwide media reports of his detention, although state security police then tried to recruit him to spy for them.

"I was blindfolded and hooded during the whole torture and interrogations, I sweated a lot, and felt exhausted, dizzy and suffocated", Cheng wrote.

That forced him to travel frequently to mainland China and was stopped at the border with Hong Kong after returning from a day business trip.

Protests kicked off in Hong Kong over an extradition bill that would send suspects to face trial in mainland China, where Party control of the courts leads to a 99.9 per cent conviction rate.

They started asking me if I know MI5 and MI6, anyone who seemingly work for both agencies, the building structure of the British Consulate-General Hong Kong, what floor for what departments and what the staff passes look like, etc.

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Mr Geng also said he was unaware of any statements from London on Mr Cheng's situation, but that China expressed "strong indignation at the recent series of wrong words and deeds on the Hong Kong issue".

Hong Kong, which was returned to China by Britain in 1997, has been convulsed by sometimes violent protests and mass demonstrations, the biggest political crisis for Beijing since the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989.

No explicit reason has ever been given as to why he attracted the attention of the Chinese authorities, but it seems likely it was related to his employment at the consulate, where he works as a trade and investment officer.

"I prefer to hold my opinion until I have the opportunity to collect and analyse any information that I might have", said Justice Secretary Teresa Cheng, who shares the same surname as the former consulate employee.

Cheng alleged Chinese secret police repeatedly interrogated him about the UK's role in Hong Kong's protests, and about his own participation and that of his friends.

Unwell and injured protesters leave for hospital at Hong Kong Polytechnic University on Tuesday.

Cheng was forced to give a written confession for betraying the motherland, a statement of apology and a confession for "soliciting prostitution".

Alton also called on the United Kingdom government to follow the lead of the U.S. - which passed the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act in the Senate - and begin to prepare targeted sanctions, as well as offering asylum to people like Cheng.

In addition, he was deprived of sleep, and ordered to sing China's national anthem to keep him awake.

Raab said that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has been working to support Cheng and his fiancee in travelling to the UK.

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