Several people gathered outside the Chinese consulate in Manchester, England on Sunday to protest the People’s Republic of China. Several consulate officials then dragged one of the protesters behind the gates of the consulate and beat him in an incident that was caught on video.
The chaotic incident saw one person knock over a protesters sign stand before pushing his way through the front gate of the consulate as security officials brawled with protesters outside the gates. Several local police arrived to begin pulling protesters away from the consulate gate but several of the consulate security personnel could be seen inside the consulate gates, beating a man over the head and back.
The protester who was beaten spoke to Voice of America reporter Kris Cheng on condition of anonymity, identifying himself only as “Bob.”
Cheng shared a phot of Bob showing cuts on his face. Bob said he also sustained injuries to his head, neck, back and waist.
“After I was pulled in, I was punched and kicked,” Bob told Cheng. “I had scars on my face, bleeding and swelling. Hair was pulled from my head, swollen and bruised. I had bruises on my neck and back, and my waist was a little sore.”
Cheng shared a photo showing a local police officer trying to pull Bob back from behind the consulate gate.
Being pulled onto the Chinese consulate’s property poses an added issue because local law enforcement can’t readily access consulate grounds or enforce local law on the diplomatic property.
“If in such a situation, you can come out and pull anyone in, punch and kick, (if) you kill someone inside, does the British government have nothing to do?” Bob asked. “This kind of thing should not be allowed to happen. Of course, this cannot be attributed to the slow response of the police. In fact, there were police officers present at the time, but they could not enter the consulate without authorization to enforce the law, that is, they could not prevent someone from breaking the law inside, and they could not go in, which was very embarrassing.”
Several of the protesters involved in the incident also believe the man who knocked over one of the protest signs was Consul-general Zheng Xiyuan.
A Twitter user shared a screenshot of the man who toppled the sign next to multiple photos of Zheng.
Alicia Kearns, the chair of the British Parliament’s foreign affairs committee, tweeted on Sunday, “[U.K. Home Secretary Suella Braverman] &[U.K. Foreign Secretary James Cleverly] need to urgently investigate. 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.”
Former Tory party leader Iain Duncan Smith also tweeted, “The UK Government @10DowningStreet must demand a full apology from the Chinese Ambassador to the UK @AmbZhengZeguang and demand those responsible are sent home to China. @SuellaBraverman.”
The Greater Manchester Police announced they are investigating the incident.
“It is 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 and ensure he didn’t come to any further harm,” the police department said. “A full and comprehensive investigation is underway by our experienced Major Incident Team detectives, and I can assure the public that all viable avenues will be explored to bring to justice anyone we believe is culpable for the scenes we saw outside the Chinese Consulate on Sunday. This investigation will take time but we are supporting the man who was subjected to this assault, as well as ensuring that our local officers are providing visible reassurance and are available to anyone may wish to speak to us.”