Workers at the Chinese consulate in Manchester attack a pro-Hong Kong protester

British lawmakers and human rights campaigners on Monday called for an investigation into the case of a Hong Kong protester who was dragged into the Chinese consulate in Manchester and beaten by staff after demonstrating against the Chinese government.

According to the Hong Kong Indigenous Defense Force, which organized a rally to coincide with the opening of a meeting of the Chinese Communist Party in Beijing On Sunday, the protester was among about 60 people who had gathered outside the consulate to demonstrate against Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Protest banners and flags calling for Hong Kong independence were unfurled outside the consulate. One poster was an image of Xi standing in front of a mirror wearing nothing but a crown and a pair of boxers – a play on the fable of the emperor’s new clothes.

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As one of the protesters began to speak, personnel in riot gear emerged from the consulate and attempted to grab the protesters’ poster, according to a statement from the group. A protester identified by the group only as Bob was holding the painting when he was dragged into the consulate, where he was beaten by a group of men.

Jimmy Chen, a 19-year-old who was present at the rally, said he saw the protester walk through a door in the consulate where he was attacked for around 30 seconds before a British police officer intervened and dragged him outside. ‘outside.

“The event was quiet until several people wearing body armor came out of the consulate and started tearing down the posters,” he said. “Some protesters tried to stop them and were pushed back, so they ended up fighting.”

Video captured at the scene showed the men punching and holding the protester to the ground. According to the organizers of the rally, after British police stopped the attack they put up a cordon separating the protesters from the consulate staff.

The injured protester was taken to hospital and is in stable condition, the group said. The Chinese consulate in Manchester confirmed the incident to The Washington Post but declined to comment further. The Chinese Embassy in London did not respond to a request for comment.

‘If the UK police hadn’t intervened today, or if the rally had taken place in Hong Kong or China, I fear peaceful protesters like us would have already been…disappeared,’ said the protester, according to the group’s statement.

On Monday, several British MPs called on authorities to investigate the incident. Alicia Kearns, chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee, called for the Chinese ambassador to be summoned and for any member of the consulate implicated in the beatings to be expelled from the country. Former Conservative Party leader Iain Duncan Smith has demanded a full apology from the Chinese ambassador.

Xi, who is expected to win a third term at the party congress that began on Sunday, has overseen a harsh crackdown on Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement that has resulted in a widespread national security law which severely curtailed the city’s once active democratic movement.

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