The Daily Telegraph

Consulate staff who beat me must be ousted, says protester

- By Daniel Capurro SENIOR REPORTER

‘It was not lawful what they did, it’s totally unreasonab­le to punch people’

A HONG KONG protester who was beaten by officials in the grounds of the Chinese consulate in Manchester has demanded that they be expelled from the country.

The Hong Kong asylum seeker, who only gave his name as Bob to protect his identity, told The Daily Telegraph that he would like to see the men arrested but understood this was “unrealisti­c” given their diplomatic status.

He said that instead he hoped “they will be deported from the UK and not allowed back again”.

“It was not lawful what they did, it’s totally unreasonab­le to punch people,” he added.

He said that despite fearing that he would not make it back out of the consulate, he was not afraid to protest against Beijing again.

“I’m not scared at all,” he said.

He was part of a demonstrat­ion by Hongkonger­s outside the consulate on Sunday timed to coincide with the appointmen­t of Xi Jinping, the Chinese autocrat, to a third term in office.

The group had with them a poster depicting a naked Xi as the “emperor with no clothes”.

This angered consulate staff, with videos and photos from the event showing them rushing into the crowd and attempting to tear down the banners.

They then scuffled with some of the protesters and succeeded in dragging Bob through the compound gate and on to consulate grounds where they surrounded him and proceeded to beat him up.

A police officer then stepped into the grounds to pull Bob back out on to the street.

Luke de Pfeford, a campaigner and member of Hong Kong Watch, a prodemocra­cy group, claimed that there was evidence from photograph­s and videos of the incident that Zheng Xiyuan, the general consul, was personally involved.

Speaking alongside his wife, Bob told said that they had pulled him by his hair, ripping some of it out, and left him with bruising on his back, arms, neck and face. He went to hospital after the incident but left without being treated after waiting 15 hours to see a doctor without success.

Bob said that at the time he was unable to identify the man but, having seen pictures of him, subsequent­ly believed that it was Mr Zheng.

The Honkonger left the former British colony in March of last year to escape Beijing’s brutal crackdown. He said: “We were beaten badly by the Hong Kong police during protests [there].

“People would disappear, lots got killed. It wasn’t safe at all, so we left”.

Despite that, Bob remained defiant. “The more bad things they do, the harder we will stand.”

Asked what action would be taken against the consular staff, the Foreign, Commonweal­th and Developmen­t Office pointed to a statement by the Prime Minister’s spokesman.

He said: “These reports are obviously deeply concerning.

“I understand Greater Manchester Police responded immediatel­y to the incident. I am conscious that their enquiries are ongoing so it would be inappropri­ate for me to comment beyond that.”

 ?? ?? The protester from Hong Kong was dragged into the compound in Manchester and punched despite the efforts of a policeman
The protester from Hong Kong was dragged into the compound in Manchester and punched despite the efforts of a policeman

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