British police enter the Chinese consulate in Manchester to rescue the protester dragged inside and beaten by staff

A pro-democracy protester from Hong Kong was dragged into the Chinese consulate in Manchester and assaulted, prompting British police officers to enter the compound and rescue him.

A group of protesters was organizing a protest outside the Chinese Consulate General in Rusholme Sunday afternoon against the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, when unidentified men appeared outside the building and began clashing with the protesters.

Video footage shared widely on social media showed consulate people kicking and knocking down posters before engaging in a scuffle with protesters.

Before the clashes, consulate staff allegedly asked the protesters to move to the opposite side of the road, but they refused.

A few minutes later, a number of men wearing protective masks and vests came out of the consulate and began destroying the posters, before walking away with a satirical portrait of Chinese President Xi Jinping.

When the demonstrators tried to stop them, a fight broke out that forced the police to intervene.

One of the protesters, so far identified only as Bob in media reports, was dragged into the consulate compound where he was repeatedly punched by unidentified men, the video of the incident shows. At least one police officer then entered the consulate park and pulled the protester out.

Bob, speaking to the camera with visible facial injuries, said he was horrified by the way he was attacked. “After I was pulled in, I was punched and kicked. I had scars on my face, bleeding and swelling,” he told Voice of America.

“My hair was pulled from my head … swollen and bruised. I had bruises on my neck and back, and my waist was a little sore.”

Some have speculated that a masked, gray-haired man seen kicking posters in a video is Chinese consul general Zheng Xiyuan, although this has not been confirmed. The gray-haired man is shown on camera standing and watching as Bob is beaten.

Greater Manchester police said they have launched an investigation into the violence and a police patrol remains on site in the area.

Former Conservative Party leader Iain Duncan Smith said the British government should apologize to Chinese Ambassador Zheng Zeguang. “This is deeply concerning,” he added.

Sharing the footage, Labor MP Andrew Gwynne asked the government to investigate the incident. ‚ÄúThis would be unacceptable on the streets of Hong Kong and against the provisions of the Joint Declaration to defend democratic rights and freedoms. But this is Manchester “, he wrote him.

Rusholme adviser Rabnawaz Akbar added: “This is unacceptable on the streets of Rusholme and Manchester.”

A consulate spokesman told the BBC that the protesters had “hung an insulting portrait of the Chinese president at the main entrance”.

“This would be intolerable and unacceptable for any diplomatic and consular mission of any country. Therefore, we condemn this deplorable act with strong indignation and firm opposition,” the spokesman added.

Trafford Hongkongers CIC, a local business group, expressed deep concern over Sunday’s incident.

“We can see from the video that a Chinese consulate staff member is trying to destroy the private property of the peaceful Hong Kong protesters.

“What’s more? The video clip shows that Hongkongers have been kidnapped in the areas of the Chinese consulate by members of the Chinese consulate staff.

“We believe the Office of Foreign Affairs, Commonwealth and Development and our Foreign Minister James Cleverly MP should ask the Chinese consulate why this could happen today in Manchester.”

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