British consulate worker and Hong Kong protesters were detained and tortured in mainland China
A former employee of the UK’s Hong Kong consulate, Simon Cheng Man-kit, crossed the border to Shenzhen at Lo Wu in August 2019. On the same day, he disappeared and was told afterwards that he was placed under “administrative detention”. He was interviewed by several foreign media and alleged being tortured and forced to confess. He revealed that at the detention centre, dozens of Hong Kong people were detained due to participation in demonstrations. He even witnessed people being physically abused, such as forcing them to raise their hands up and teased them, “Aren’t you always raising flags during protests?”
During Cheng’s interrogation, China’s National Security Police stated that batches of Hong Kong protesters were arrested, sent and detained in mainland China, that’s why they could obtain and verify the information at hand.
Cheng was repeatedly interrogated. There was a time when 15 people were together being forced to hold stress positions – squatting against a wall – for hours, and beaten if they moved. “They would beat the bony parts, like ankles… or any vulnerable parts.” He claimed that he was deprived of sleep, with his interrogators making him sing the Chinese national anthem to keep himself awake. He believed that he was not the only Hong Kong people being mistreated. “I saw a bunch of Hong Kong people being arrested and interrogated. I heard someone speaking in Cantonese saying, ‘Raise your hands up. You raised the flags in the protest, didn’t you?'” He was asked to jot down the names and political affiliations of anyone whom he recognized from a pile of more than 1,000 photographs of Hong Kong protesters. Cheng also said: “The secret police clearly stated that batches of Hong Kong protesters had been arrested, sent and detained in mainland China.”
Cheng was once held in Lo Wu detention centre. Lo Wu police brought a girl to him and told him that girl was also detained due to demonstrating. Cheng believed that there are other protesters being detained in mainland China. He witnessed 10 more Hong Kong people being detained since they participated in protests. Someone spoke in Cantonese demanding them to raise your hands, and also saying “Didn’t you raise a lot of flags during the protests?”
He revealed that he was brought to “collective investigation centre” where he was interrogated. He saw the secret police wrote “secret” on his case file while applying for an interrogation room. He then saw around 10 young criminal suspects who were receiving interrogations in the centre. They were all handcuffed and wearing orange prisoner vests. He heard a voice shouting from one of the questioning rooms asking people to raise their hands higher. He believed they were Hong Kong protesters being tortured.
BBC interview with Simon Cheng Man-kit: