An investigation is under way into violence at a rally organised by Hong Kong pro-democracy campaigners outside the Chinese consulate in the British city of Manchester, after video showed one of the protesters dragged into the grounds of the consulate and beaten.
The violence flared on Sunday when a small group of people gathered outside the consulate, putting up posters and banners, as the 20th Congress of the Chinese Communist Party began in Beijing.
Video on social media showed a group of men suddenly attacking the group’s posters and placards, with scuffles breaking out. One protester was filmed being dragged through the gates onto the consulate grounds where he was attacked by a number of men before a police officer pulled him to safety.
Speaking to the BBC Chinese service, the protester, known as Bob, said “mainlanders” – referring to people from mainland China, as opposed to Hong Kong – came out of the consulate and began tearing up the group’s posters.
“As we tried to stop them, they dragged me inside, they beat me up,” he said, adding that he was finally pulled out by the British police.
A spokesman for the Greater Manchester Police said an investigation into the incident had begun.