Simon Cheng spoke out publicly for the first time since he was detained in early August at the end of a business trip from Hong Kong to mainland China.
BEIJING — A former employee of Britain’s consulate in Hong Kong said on Wednesday that the Chinese police tortured and beat him, deprived him of sleep and hung him in a spread-eagled pose for hours as they sought information about what they alleged was foreign interference in the protests that have convulsed the city.
In a statement posted on Facebook, Simon Cheng spoke out publicly for the first time since he was detained in early August at the end of a business trip from Hong Kong to mainland China. When he was released after 15 days, the Chinese authorities said Mr. Cheng had confessed to unlawful activities.
“I was handcuffed, shackled, blindfolded and hooded,” Mr. Cheng, 29, said in his statement. “I speak out now because the case is relevant to the public interest on knowing the flawed judicial process in mainland China.”
Responding to the allegations, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab of Britain said he had summoned the Chinese ambassador in the United Kingdom to express outrage at what he called “the brutal and disgraceful treatment of Simon in violation of China’s international obligations.”
“Simon Cheng was a valued member of our team. We were shocked and appalled by the mistreatment he suffered while in Chinese detention, which amounts to torture,” Mr. Raab said, according to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
Mr. Cheng’s accusations of extrajudicial torture of a Hong Konger could further inflame the protests, which began in June as a demonstration against an unpopular bill that would have allowed extraditions to the mainland. The protests have since morphed into a pitched battle between protesters, the police and the government over the future of the city.
Mr. Cheng’s disappearance prompted fears that China had detained him as a warning to protesters, or to Britain, which has expressed support for the pro-democracy movement.
Mr. Cheng traveled to Shenzhen, a mainland city that borders Hong Kong, to attend a business conference on Aug. 8. As he was making his way back he wrote to his girlfriend on WeChat, the Chinese messaging app, on a high-speed train. “Pray for me.”