British police launched an investigation on Monday after Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters were dragged into the grounds of the Chinese consulate in Manchester and beaten on Sunday.
A protester, identified only as Bob, said he was trying to stop consular staff from taking a poster he was holding when he was dragged into the premises and beaten by about seven to eight men.
Bob was later rescued by police officers at the scene.
Downing Street said the incident was “extremely concerning”.
In a statement released on Monday, Greater Manchester Police (GMP) confirmed that the men who assaulted Bob had emerged from the Chinese consulate.
“Due to concerns about the man’s safety, police intervened and removed the victim from the consulate grounds,” police said, adding that the victim, who is in his 30s, “had several physical injuries and is undergoing medical treatment.” was hospitalized overnight at
No arrests have been made yet.
Deputy Chief Constable Rob Potts said it was clear that “what started as a peaceful protest has unexpectedly escalated” and officers “acted professionally in response to a hostile and dynamic situation, I helped the victims and prevented them from causing any more harm.”
Detectives on GMP’s Critical Incidents Team are conducting a “full and comprehensive investigation,” Potts said, adding, “We are trying to bring to justice those who are believed to be responsible for the scenes we saw outside the Chinese Consulate on Sunday. We will consider all viable avenues,” he added. “
It is unclear whether or not it was a consular officer involved, who enjoys diplomatic immunity but could be declared persona non grata by the British government if they violate British law.
It was Alleged According to Luke De Parford of Hong Kong Watch, the elderly man at the scene, who kicked and tore up the banner and saw Bob being beaten, was Consul General Zheng Heiyuan.
The man’s face was covered by a mask, visible only from the side and back in the footage circulating online, but the scarf he was wearing was Scarf worn by Zheng at the 2019 event.
The Chinese consulate did not respond to The Epoch Times’ request for comment.
Liverpool’s Lord Alton, David Alton, said Chinese ambassador Zheng Zeguang should clarify whether the man was consul general.
“if it [Home Secretary] Suera Braverman should pack up and demand that he leave now,” a Crossbench mate wrote on Twitter.
Responding to reports of the incident shortly before the GMP statement was released, a Downing Street spokesman said the reports were “extremely worrying”.
“I understand that Greater Manchester Police responded immediately to the incident, and I am aware that their investigation is ongoing, so it would be inappropriate to comment further,” he said. .
“I understand they have stepped up patrols in the area after yesterday’s incident,” the spokesperson added.