Statement: Hong Kong Watch urges immediate release of Hong Kong official from British Consulate detained in China
Hong Kong Watch condemns the arbitrary detention of Simon Cheng, a Hong Kong official working at the British Consulate-General, in China for over 10 days after crossing the border on a business trip. Mr Cheng was last heard on 8 August when he was on the high-speed rail train returning to Hong Kong from China.
On Tuesday the British Consulate-General in Hong Kong confirmed local media reports of his detention. A spokesperson for the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office expressed their extreme concern over Mr Cheng’s detention and liaison with authorities in Guangdong province and Hong Kong is underway.
Mr Cheng’s detention confirmed widespread fears that Hong Kong’s rule of law would be severely undermined by the government’s decision to set up a joint checkpoint arrangement in the high-speed rail link’s West Kowloon Terminus, ceding parts of the station to Mainland Chinese law, a principle known as “co-location”.
Hong Kong Watch calls on the Chinese government to immediately and unconditionally release Simon Cheng and ensure his access to legal counsel, diplomatic representation and family during his detention.