A former employee of the British Consulate in Hong Kong has said he was detained and tortured by Chinese secret police. They were trying to extract information about anti-government protests in the territory, he added.
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 Chinese agents as they sought information on activists involved in the months-long protests in Hong Kong and the role they believed the UK played in the demonstrations.
In August, Cheng was detained for more than two weeks while he was on a trip to mainland China. At the time of his detention, Cheng was working for the British Consulate's business development team in Hong Kong. Chinese police said at the time that Cheng had "confessed to his illegal acts," without giving specific details.
In a detailed account published on Facebook, Cheng said he hasn't "fully recovered from the trauma of what happened" to him.
"I speak out now because the case is relevant to the public interest on knowing the flawed judicial process in Mainland China, but I have tried my best to protect personal privacy," he wrote.
He also condemned the "witch hunt made by Chinese Communist Party mouthpieces."
Speaking to the Wall Street Journal, Cheng said he was questioned repeatedly about the role his interrogators presumed the UK was playing in fomenting the unrest in Hong Kong.
In fear, Cheng said he disclosed the passwords for his phone and social media accounts, named two British consular officials he thought had military and intelligence backgrounds and gave details of some people involved in the protests.
'Amounts to torture'
UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab condemned China's treatment of Cheng, which he said "amounts to torture." He has also summoned the Chinese ambassador in London to express the UK government's outrage and demand Beijing investigate and hold those responsible accountable.
Meanwhile, anti-government protests in Hong Kong have continued for months and the unrest has been escalating over the past few weeks, with university campuses witnessing fierce clashes between demonstrators and police.
China has repeatedly criticized foreign countries, particularly the United States and the UK, for interfering in Chinese internal affairs through their reactions to the violent clashes taking place in Hong Kong.
sri/sms (AP, Reuters)