A Hong Kong protester was pulled into Chinese consulate grounds in Manchester on Sunday and beaten up. Unidentified men came out of the consulate and forced a man inside the compound before he escaped with the help of police and other demonstrators.
The protester told the BBC: “They dragged me inside, they beat me up.”
The UK government called the reports “extremely concerning”. The consulate says protesters displayed an insulting portrait of China’s president. The Foreign Office said it was urgently seeking clarity on the incident. Greater Manchester Police has launched an investigation.
Speaking after the incident, the protester, called Bob, told BBC Chinese that people had come out of the consulate and destroyed their posters.
“As we tried to stop them, they dragged me inside, they beat me up,” he said, adding that he was then pulled out by the UK police. “It’s ridiculous. They shouldn’t have done that. We are supposed to have the freedom to say whatever we want here in the UK.”
After the incident, the crowd remained angry. Protesters shouted at the men from the consulate and the British police, arguing they could have done more.
Consulate staff had previously asked the protesters to move to the opposite side of the street. There were two police officers at the protest, but several more appeared within minutes of the altercation beginning. They gathered at the compound gates trying to break up the fighting and move protesters back.
One police officer entered the consulate grounds and pulled the man who had been dragged inside back out. At least eight men – some wearing helmets and protective vests – returned to the consulate building.
The consulate is on UK soil, but cannot be entered without consent. Protests outside embassies and consulates in Britain often involve a few scuffles. Police are often on hand to keep the peace.
But rarely do consular staff emerge onto the street to pull down banners and posters. And even more rarely are protesters dragged through the gates and apparently beaten up.
英国首相特拉斯（Liz Truss）发言人回应事件指，“这些报道显然令人深感忧虑”（obviously deeply concerning），“我了解到曼彻斯特警方已立即回应事件，并正作调查，因此我不宜评论”。
*China Now, keep you updated on China
*The above media report does not represent New Zealand Review’s opinion.