British consulate worker reveals how he was tortured by Chinese police

How I was tortured by Chinese police: British consulate worker shows the positions he was forced to adopt for hours as he was interrogated about UK involvement in Hong Kong protests

  • Former consulate worker Simon Cheng claims he was tortured by Chinese police
  • Cheng revealed on Facebook the torture positions he was forced to adopt 
  • Foreign secretary Dominic Raab condemns ‘brutal and disgraceful’ treatment 
  • Police tried to force Cheng to confess UK responsibility for Hong Kong riots 

A growing diplomatic row is emerging after a former employee of Britain’s consulate in Hong Kong said Chinese secret police beat him, deprived him of sleep and shackled him in an attempt to force him to give information about activists leading pro-democracy protests.

Simon Cheng, a Hong Kong citizen who worked for the British government for almost two years, said he was tortured while detained for 15 days as he returned from a trip to mainland China in August. 

In response to Mr Cheng’s allegations, foreign secretary Dominic Raab said that he had summoned the Chinese Ambassador to express ‘outrage at the brutal and disgraceful treatment’ of Mr Cheng, stating that the government was ‘shocked and appalled’ by his mistreatment ‘which amounts to torture.’

Simon Cheng demonstrates the different poses state security officers forced him to stand in for hours each day as part of the torture he endured while being interrogated. If he moved an inch, or his muscles shook, the officers would hit him with a rod.

Former employee of the UK’s Hong Kong consulate Simon Cheng, a Hong Kong citizen who worked for the UK government for almost two years, was detained for 15 days on a trip to mainland China in August and claims he was tortured by Chinese authorities.

‘I have made clear we expect the Chinese authorities to investigate and hold those responsible to account,’ he said. 

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. 

Mr Cheng revealed the extent of his ordeal in a post on Facebook, ‘I was hung (handcuffed and shackled) on a steep X-Cross doing a spread-eagled pose for hours after hours,’ he said.

‘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.’

British foreign secretary Dominic Raab has condemned the ‘brutal and disgraceful’ treatment of Mr Cheng which he said amounted to ‘torture’

In an 8,000 word description of his experiences, Mr Cheng relates a nightmare of repeated physical abuse, threats and questioning about Britain’s alleged meddling in the protests.

At one point in the interrogation by secret police, he was given a bizarre lecture about astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus whose unpopularity in the 16th Century was used to justify the argument that China was not ready for democracy.

Mr Cheng was accused of being a British spy and questioned at length about protest leaders and their links to the London School of Economics. Eventually, it was proposed, he should work for the Chinese ‘motherland’.

‘I was suspected of being a mastermind and British proxy to incite and organise the protests in Hong Kong,’ Mr Cheng said.   

Mr Cheng claims Chinese authorities tortured him to force him to confess that anti-Beijing protests sweeping across Hong Kong were being clandestinely led by the British government

Mr Cheng, who said he supported the Hong Kong pro-democracy movement, said he would not seek judicial redress as he had no faith in the Chinese legal system.

Hong Kong’s justice secretary said she had no opinion on the torture accusation and Mr Cheng should report the matter to the Chinese authorities.

‘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.

Hong Kong was handed over to China by the colony’s former ruler Britain in 1997 but enjoys a degree of autonomy under the so-called ‘one country, two systems’ formula.

China’s ambassador to London on Monday accused foreign countries including the United States and Britain of interfering in Chinese internal affairs through their reactions to the violent clashes taking place in Hong Kong.

Ambassador Liu Xiaoming said Western countries were meddling in Hong Kong’s affairs.

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

Mr Cheng also said that Chinese police expected him to confess that the UK was instigating the Hong Kong protests ‘by donating money, materials and equipment.’ 

He was instructed to sing the Chinese national anthem and recorded doing so.

He was told that if he spoke about his experiences he would be spirited out of Hong Kong back to mainland China. 

‘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,’ Mr Cheng said.

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