Police in Manchester have launched an investigation after a Hong Kong pro-democracy protester was allegedly overwhelmed on the grounds of the Chinese consulate within the English metropolis.
A professional-democracy group known as Hong Kong Indigenous Defence Force had staged a protest exterior the consulate within the northern metropolis on Sunday, in opposition to the Chinese Communist Party Congress taking place the identical day in Beijing.
Video of the incident shared extensively on social media reveals a confrontation breaking out on the sidewalk exterior the consulate, with loud shouts heard as folks rush in direction of the gated entrance. The video then seems to point out one Hong Kong protester being dragged by means of the gate into the consulate grounds and overwhelmed by a bunch of males.
The video seems to point out native police coming into the grounds of the consulate to interrupt up the violence.
Hong Kong Indigenous Defence Force alleges that Chinese consular employees have been concerned within the alleged beating, and that the protester was taken to hospital in secure situation.
Greater Manchester Police mentioned Monday they have been investigating the incident, by which a person “suffered a number of bodily accidents.”
“We perceive the shock and concern that this incident could have brought about not simply regionally, however for these a lot additional afield who could have connections with our communities right here in Greater Manchester,” assistant chief constable Rob Potts mentioned in a press release.
“Shortly earlier than 4 p.m. a small group of males got here out of the constructing and a person was dragged into the Consulate grounds and assaulted. Due to our fears for the protection of the person, officers intervened and eliminated the sufferer from the Consulate grounds.”
“The man – aged in his 30s – suffered a number of bodily accidents and remained in hospital in a single day for remedy. He is constant to obtain our help for his welfare.”
The statemented added that at the moment “no arrests have been made” and that the investigation was ongoing.
A spokesperson for British Prime Minister Liz Truss described the incident as “deeply regarding.”
On Monday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin mentioned he was “not conscious of the scenario.”
“Chinese Embassy and consulates within the UK have at all times abided by the legal guidelines of the international locations the place they’re stationed,” he mentioned in an everyday information briefing. “We additionally hope that the British facet, in accordance with the provisions of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, will facilitate the traditional efficiency of the duties of the Chinese Embassy and consulates within the UK.”
CNN approached the Chinese Embassy in London for remark however didn’t obtain a right away response.
Video of the scuffle has been shared on-line by a number of UK lawmakers, who’ve known as for an investigation into the alleged involvement of Chinese consular employees.
“The UK Government should demand a full apology from the Chinese Ambassador to the UK and demand these accountable are despatched dwelling to China,” ruling Conservative Party lawmaker Iain Duncan Smith wrote on Twitter.
Conservative Party member of Parliament Alicia Kearns additionally tweeted on Sunday that authorities “must urgently examine,” and that the Chinese Ambassador must be summoned. “If any official has overwhelmed protesters, they have to be expelled or prosecuted,” she wrote.
Both lawmakers have beforehand been vocal critics of the Chinese Communist Party.
Prominent Hong Kong activists have additionally spoken out. Nathan Law, a former lawmaker and pro-democracy determine who fled to the UK in 2020, tweeted: “If the consulate employees accountable usually are not held accountable, Hong Kongers would reside in worry of being kidnapped and persecuted.” He urged the British authorities to “examine and shield our group and folks within the UK.”
Britain is dwelling to large numbers of Hong Kong citizens, lots of whom left the territory following the introduction of a sweeping nationwide safety regulation in 2020 that critics say stripped the previous British colony of its autonomy and treasured civil freedoms, whereas cementing Beijing’s authoritarian rule.
According to an internet assertion by organizers of Sunday’s protest, round 60 demonstrators had gathered exterior the Manchester consulate to protest “the re-election of Xi Jinping.”
The Chinese Communist Party Congress, a twice-a-decade management reshuffle and assembly of the party’s prime officers, kicked off on Sunday. Chinese chief Xi, who got here to energy in 2012, is extensively anticipated to interrupt with conference and tackle a 3rd time period, paving the best way for lifelong rule.
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