19 October 2022

Protester says he was saved by police intervention at Chinese consulate

19 October 2022

A protester who was dragged into the Chinese consulate in Manchester and beaten up believes his life was saved by the police officer who pulled him out.

Bob Chan, who has lived in the city since leaving Hong Kong, was seized by a group of men after putting up posters outside the building criticising China’s president, Xi Jinping.

Speaking to the PA news agency in Westminster’s Centre for Social Justice, he said: “I thought I might be beaten to death because once you’re through the gates, anything can happen.

“There’s nothing the police can do because they’re not supposed to go through the gate.”

Although police are normally not allowed on consulate ground without permission, Greater Manchester Police (GMP) say they intervened to prevent the activist coming to “greater harm”.

Asked if the officer who stepped in had saved his life, Mr Chan answered: “Definitely. Because if the police hadn’t pulled me out and saved me, I’d be beaten to death”.

Mr Chan spent the night in hospital and still bears the marks from the attack on Sunday, with a graze running across his nose and a red mark under his right eye.

“I still have pain in my back – so it’s hurting now when I sit down,” he said.

“I can’t even drive because if I sit for too long then it’s really, really painful.”

With police working to identify those involved in the assault, Mr Chan called for his attackers to “be brave and step up”.

“Turn yourself over to the police and admit what you’ve done to me,” he urged.

Mr Chan said the Chinese authorities could seek to punish him, possibly by taking reprisals against his family in Hong Kong, but conceded this was “completely out of my control”.

“At this point I still believe the UK is safe and believe the police will be able to provide me with sufficient protection,” he added.

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