A former employee of the United Kingdom’s Consulate in Hong Kong has claimed that he was tortured in China while detained by the communist regime, who accused him of working for the British to foment the pro-democracy protest movement in Hong Kong.
Simon Cheng, who was detained by communist authorities and brought to Mainland China this summer while he was representing the British government in Hong Kong, said he was tortured by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) during the 15 days he was imprisoned.
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.
“Sometimes, they ordered me to do the ‘stress tests’, which includes extreme strength exercise such as ‘squat’ and ‘chair pose’ for countless hours. They beat me every time I failed to do so using something like sharpened batons. They also poked my vulnerable and shivering body parts, such as knee joint. I was blindfolded and hooded during the whole torture and interrogations, I sweated a lot, and felt exhausted, dizzy and suffocated,” recalled Cheng.
“While being subjected to this torture, I was not allowed to say even one word. They said they had a ‘rule’ that I should seek their permission to speak (by saying ‘report, my master’). If I didn’t follow this rule, then they slapped my mouth and face with unknown weapons (felt like a sharpen baton),” he added.
Cheng, a supporter of the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong that were sparked earlier this year by the introduction of the controversial extradition bill, was ironically detained in Hong Kong at the newly imposed West Kowloon Highspeed Railway Station checkpoint and brought back to Mainland China.
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After hearing Mr Cheng’s accounts of torture, the British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said to the BBC: “We are outraged by the disgraceful mistreatment that Mr Cheng faced when he was in detention in mainland China… and we’ve made clear that we expect the Chinese authorities to review and hold to account those responsible.”
Raab said that the British government had summoned the Chinese ambassador to discuss the matter. However, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman said that the Chinese would not honour the summons, saying that the Chinese would instead summon the UK ambassador to “express their indignation”.
The former UK consulate employee said that his captors, believing he was working as a spy for the United Kingdom, asked him three types of questions: “The UK role in the Hong Kong ‘riots’, my role in the ‘riots’, and my relations with mainlanders who joined the ‘riots’.”
Cheng reports that the guards said the UK Consulate is a “publicly recognised spy agency” in China and “therefore, you should know you have no human rights in this place”.
Earlier this week the Chinese ambassador, Liu Xiaoming, accused Britain and the United States of fomenting unrest in the former British colony of Hong Kong.
“We urge these forces to stop interference… and stop condoning violent offences. Otherwise, they would lift the stone only to drop it on their own feet,” said the ambassador.
“What is worse, certain British politicians even planned to present an award to a chief propagandist for Hong Kong independence who had instigated extreme violence,” he said in reference to the pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong, who was recently barred by a Hong Kong court from travelling to the UK to receive a human rights award.
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Before finally being released, Simon Cheng said that he was forced to film a “confession” for “soliciting prostitution” as well as a written apology for “betraying the motherland”.
Filmed confessions are commonplace in Communist China and are often aired on state-run television. Notably, Gui Minhai, one of several Hong Kong booksellers who were abducted and brought back to the mainland for selling books critical of the communist regime, was forced to appear on state television to confess to a decade-old drunk driving crime.
Mr Gui is still being held in an undisclosed prison inside China. The government of Sweden this week awarded Gui an award for freedom of speech, despite outcries from the CCP.
Simon Cheng concluded his post on Facebook by saying: “I won’t give up the fight for human rights, peace, freedom and democracy for the rest of my life, no matter the danger, discrimination and retaliation I will face, and no matter how my reputation will be stained, and no matter whether my future would be blacklisted, labelled and ruined.”
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Follow Kurt Zindulka on Twitter at @KurtZindulka or email at email@example.com