A man was beaten after demonstrating near the Chinese consulate in Manchester, the United Kingdom, advocating for democracy in Hong Kong, according to the BBC.
The man had participated in a protest with the Hong Kong Indigenous Defence Force, a pro-democracy group, outside the consulate Sunday, timed to happen the same day the 20th Chinese Communist Party Congress kicked off in Beijing, the BBC reported. The Manchester police launched an investigation into the incident after “a man was dragged into the consulate grounds and assaulted,” the force said Monday.
“It’s clear what began as a peaceful protest unexpectedly escalated and our officers acted professionally in response to a hostile and dynamic situation to help the victim,” Assistant Chief Constable Rob Potts said in a statement. (RELATED: ‘There’s No Recovery For Hong Kong’: Enforcer Of China’s Brutal National Security Law Poised To Rule City)
A crowd of 30 to 40 protesters gathered Sunday, with some rushing the gate of the consulate on Sunday after fighting erupted, according to videos shared on social media. The footage appears to depict consular staff dragging one protester through the gate and delivering blows on the grounds.
“Mainlanders,” or people from the mainland of China rather than Hong Kong, at the consulate had come out to destroy posters flashed by the protesters allegedly depicting Chinese President Xi Jinping in a satirical fashion, the victim, called “Bob,” told the BBC.
“As we tried to stop them, they dragged me inside, they beat me up,” Bob said.
Police already on the scene called reinforcements, attempting to break up the confrontation and rescuing Bob from his attackers, the BBC reported.
“It’s ridiculous. They [the attackers] shouldn’t have done that,” Bob told the BBC. “We are supposed to have freedom to say whatever we want here.”
The protesters “hung an insulting portrait of the Chinese president at the main entrance,” a spokesperson for the consulate told the BBC.
“This would be intolerable and unacceptable for any diplomatic and consular missions of any country. Therefore, we condemn this deplorable act with strong indignation and firm opposition,” the spokesperson added.
The incident coincided with the first day of the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP)’s 20th congress, a twice-a-decade gathering of party delegates where current President Xi Jinping is expected to secure a historic third term as the country’s dictatorial leader.
The CCP will not import their beating of protestors and denial of free speech to British streets.
Chinese Ambassador should be summoned & if any official has beaten protesters, they must be expelled or prosecuted. https://t.co/q7Nh55k8fG
— Alicia Kearns, MP for Rutland and Melton (@aliciakearns) October 16, 2022
Under Xi, China has become increasingly draconian; in 2020, the National People’s Congress rubber-stamped a decree extending the authority of mainland Chinese law enforcement into Hong Kong, overriding the “two systems” model that allowed Hong Kong to govern autonomously.
The Chinese consulates in Manchester and New York did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s requests for comment.
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