Simon Cheng: Former UK consulate worker says he was tortured in China

Posted by tabitha

Simon Cheng, a Hong Kong citizen who worked for the UK government for almost two years.

UK government sources say they believe his claims – of being beaten and forced to sign confessions – are credible.

Following our interview, the British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab summoned the Chinese ambassador.

“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,” Mr Raab told the BBC.

But on Wednesday a Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson told the BBC they “absolutely cannot accept the UK government’s interference in this case” – and would in return summon the UK ambassador to “express their opposition and anger”.

“We hope the UK will be prudent and stop interfering in Hong Kong and in China’s domestic affairs because it will, eventually, only harm the UK’s own interests,” the spokesperson added.

Mr Cheng’s raises questions for both the Chinese and the UK governments.

The claims he makes – including that he saw other Hongkongers in Chinese custody – are likely to fuel protesters’ fears that their city’s freedoms are being eroded under Chinese rule.

“They said they work for the secret service and that there are no human rights,” he tells me. “Then they started the torture.”

Who is Simon Cheng?

It required him to travel frequently to mainland China.

“The British Consulate instructed staff to collect information about the status of the protests,” he says.

Paid overtime for the information he gathered, he began reporting back what he saw to his colleagues.

He didn’t know it, but his life was about to change forever.

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