HONG KONG – A group of Hong Kong citizens demonstrated outside the British Consulate Wednesday afternoon urging the British government to take action over the arrest of a local consulate employee by Chinese authorities.
The rally came just an hour after China’s foreign ministry confirmed that Simon Cheng Man-kit, a trade and investment officer at the Scottish Development International section of the British consulate in Hong Kong, has been detained in Shenzhen for alleged public order violations.
The small group of petitioners gathered outside the British Consulate complex in Admiralty Wednesday afternoon.
They put up posters on the wall of the building and chanted slogans including “Save Simon now, delay no more!”
Activist Max Chung Kin-ping, organizer of the petition, urged British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to give top priority to seek the release of Cheng.
“Mr Boris Johnson, act now or never,” Chung said, reading a statement to the press.
“We pray for Simon. Please, please help Simon, and us Hongkongers.”
On Aug. 8, Cheng made a business trip to the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen, a stone’s throw from Hong Kong, but he did not return to work the next day.
His family later confirmed his disappearance on Facebook.
At a news briefing in Beijing Wednesday, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang confirmed Cheng has been detained for 15 days by police in Shenzhen for violating public “security management rules” but he did not elaborate.