The British government has released a report which says that one of their diplomats in Hong Kong was tortured over a 15-day period by Chinese police. The report also says that the Chinese government have so far not given an “adequate” explanation of the situation.
Simon Cheng, a consular worker in Hong Kong working to monitor the pro-democracy protests that were, and still are, taking place in the region, was picked up by Chinese police on the 8th of August of last year.
Mr Cheng was detained by Chinese police for 15 days, during which he says he was shackled to a “tiger chair”, hung with his limbs stretched out on an X shaped cross, blindfolded, hooded, and beaten by the Chinese secret police. Mr Cheng says that the police accused him of being a British spy and that he was beaten until he recorded a false video confession. He says he was told he would face “indefinite criminal detention” without the ability to contact anyone if he refused to record the confession.
Dominic Raab, British Foreign Secretary, said that the UK was “shocked and appalled by the mistreatment suffered by Simon Cheng”, and that the “his treatment in Chinese detention, for more than two weeks, amounted to torture.”
The Chinese government responded to the claims of torture by releasing a video of Mr Cheng confessing to soliciting prostitutes. The video shows Mr Cheng saying it was a “a shameful incident” and that he was “determined to mend my ways…I will never make the same mistake again.”
Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson, Geng Shuang, said that “The police guaranteed all his lawful rights and interests when he was under detention and he confessed all his offences.”
Amnesty International have said that, “The horrific abuse Simon Cheng described in his testimony, such as being shackled and placed in stress positions, is in line with the endemic torture and other ill-treatment in detention we have repeatedly documented in mainland China.”
You can read Mr Cheng’s full statement on his detention HERE.
The six-monthly report on Hong Kong 1 July to 31 December 2019 can be read HERE.