A protester in Hong Kong was reportedly beaten at the Chinese consulate in the UK

Police in the English city of Manchester are investigating a report that a pro-democracy protester in Hong Kong was beaten on the grounds of the Chinese consulate.

The Hong Kong Indigenous Defense Force, a pro-democracy group, held a protest outside the consulate in the northern city on Sunday. They did this because the Chinese Communist Party Congress was being held in Beijing on the same day.

A video of the event, which was widely shared on social media, showed a brawl breaking out on the sidewalk outside the consulate. People can be heard shouting as they rush towards the closed entrance. The video then appears to show a group of

men dragged a Hong Kong protester through the gate and beat him on the consulate grounds.

The video appears to show that local police went to the consulate grounds to stop the brawl. The Hong Kong Indigenous People’s Defense Force says the alleged beating was carried out by Chinese consulate officials and that the protester was taken to hospital in stable condition.

Manchester police said on Monday they were investigating the incident, in which a man “suffered several physical injuries”.

“We understand the shock and concern this incident will cause, not only locally, but for those much further afield who may have links to our communities here in Greater Manchester,” Assistant Chief Constable Rob Potts said in a statement .

“Shortly before 4 p.m., a small group of men came out of the building and one man was dragged into the consulate grounds and assaulted. Due to our concerns for the man’s safety, officers intervened and removed the victim from the consulate grounds.

“The man – aged in his 30s – suffered several injuries and remained in hospital for treatment overnight. He continues to receive our support for his well-being.”

The statement also said that no arrests have yet been made and that the investigation is ongoing. A spokesman for British Prime Minister Liz Truss said the incident was “deeply worrying”.

On Monday, Wang Wenbin, a spokesman for China’s foreign ministry, said he was “not aware of the situation”.

“The Chinese embassy and consulates in the UK have always respected the laws of the countries where they are stationed,” he told a regular news briefing. “We also hope that the British side, in accordance with the provisions of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, will facilitate the normal performance of the duties of the Chinese embassy and consulates in the UK.”

Multiple UK lawmakers posted videos of the fight online and called for an investigation into the possible involvement of Chinese consulate officials. Ian Duncan Smith, MP for the ruling Conservative Party, writes further Twitter that the UK government should apologize to the Chinese ambassador and send those responsible back to China.

Alicia Kearns, a Conservative MP, also said on Twitter on Sunday that the situation “must be addressed immediately” and that the Chinese ambassador should be recalled. “If any employee has beaten protesters, they should be fired or prosecuted,” she wrote. Both politicians have been outspoken critics of the Chinese Communist Party in the past.

Influential activists in Hong Kong also spoke out. Nathan Lowe, a former MP and pro-democracy activist who fled to the UK in 2020, tweeted: “Hong Kongers will live in fear of abduction and persecution if responsible consulate staff are not held accountable.” He called on the British government to “investigate and protect our community and the people of the UK”.

There are many Hong Kong citizens living in the UK. Many of them left Hong Kong after a new national security law came into effect in 2020. Critics say the law stripped the former British colony of its independence and important civil liberties while strengthening Beijing’s authoritarian rule.

In a statement posted online by protest organizers, around 60 people gathered outside the consulate in Manchester on Sunday to protest the “re-election of Xi Jinping”.

The Congress of the Chinese Communist Party began on Sunday. It is a meeting of the party’s top leaders that takes place every five years and is used to replace the party’s leadership. Many people believe that Chinese leader Xi, who came to power in 2012, will break with tradition and run for a third term, which would allow him to rule for life.

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