郑文杰“被送中”拘押后中英文声明全文

真相网2019.11.22】今年8月在深圳被捕的英国驻香港总领事馆的前雇员郑文杰,最近接受英媒专访时指出,被拘留时曾遭到刑求,强迫他承认英国煽动与暗助香港的“反送中”运动,中国媒体则指控他嫖娼。

郑文杰20日在脸书上发表英文声明,详述他如何在香港西九龙高铁站过境时被拦截并送往中国深圳,以及中国公安如何对他进行严刑逼供,以至于他被屈打成招。

他在声明开头写到:我的名字叫西蒙·郑(Simon Cheng),这是我对2019年8月事件的声明,关于声明的几点说明:
一、我没有伤害过任何人,也没有做出对不起人的事,包括任何人以及所有我所爱和所珍惜的人。
二、我否认当局透过非法程序、包括使用酷刑、威胁和胁迫对我提出的任意指控。
三、我不会透过司法寻求补救办法,因为我对中国透明的司法系统不抱有信心、也不信任,尤其在遭受如此可怕的经历后。
四、为了保护无辜的人,使他们不至于因这次曝光而可能遇到麻烦,我将采用匿名的方式,并避免提及此案的某些细节。
五、我之所以大声疾呼,是因为此案有助于了解中国司法程序所存在的缺陷,这符合公众利益,但我已尽我所能保护个人隐私。
六、我谴责中共喉舌的“猎巫”宣传,尤其是给我插上“反华”的政治标签。
七、我将不对此案做任何评论,因为我尚未完全从经历过的创伤中恢复过来,并且那样做会使我更有可能受到报复。

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郑文杰“被送中”拘押后声明中文翻译全文

以下是电台节目主持人马世芳在脸书公布的翻译内容:

一位希望匿名的好友無償翻譯了鄭文傑的英文聲明稿七項要點之後的細節說明,讀下來驚心動魄。朋友說可以轉,我就轉了,這位英文程度極好的朋友客氣地說:「這是鄉民無償翻譯,一定有錯誤的地方,比方說中國警政公安系統的文書程序或官銜什麼一定不夠準確,...

Posted by 馬世芳 on Wednesday, November 20, 2019

一位希望匿名的好友无偿翻译了郑文杰的英文声明稿七项要点之后的细节说明,读下来惊心动魄。

朋友说可以转,我就转了,这位英文程度极好的朋友客气的说:“这是乡民无偿翻译,一定有错误的地方,比方说中国警政公安系统的文书程序或官衔什么一定不够准确,有疑义还是要以郑本人的英文声明为准。”

声明开头七项要点之后的说明:

郑本人支持泛民运动,曾参与今年的抗争,包括在佐登道维护连侬墙海报,但未参与任何非法活动,也未有不法行为。

英国驻港总领事馆指示雇员蒐集与抗争有关的情报,以评估发出旅游警示时机,以及英国公民是否参与抗争。情蒐的目标包括Telegram群组、连登讨论区,以及媒体报导,也包括接近示威群体,打探他们的目标。

郑认识某些参与抗争的中国人,有些人曾在港被捕,随后交保获释。郑也曾组织读书会,主题是与中国社会及香港有关的社会科学议题,参与者有港人也有中国人,背景是政府、金融、法界与文学界人士。

8月8日郑因公前往深圳,工作结束后曾接受按摩,并与在港获释中国友人的家人会面,准备替友人转交生活费及官司费用。郑已听说港人入境中国时会被检查手机,因此与女友和家人约定会定时联络报平安。

郑自深圳福田火车站搭高铁返回香港,在西九龙高铁车站被拦下后送往西九龙车站警局,香港西九龙火车站(中国)警局的制服公安说,郑被拦下是因为高层指示,公安说不知道原因和详情。制服公安态度还算客气,也没有强取手机密码解锁。

接着郑被用高铁送到深圳福田警局交给便衣公安,他后来才知道这些是国保特务,特务态度粗暴。侦讯开始前先拍嫌犯照片、捺指纹、被留下所有生化信息(血液尿液等),公安此时尚未取得手机密码。侦讯期间被绑上老虎凳无法动弹,郑被逼问英国在香港“暴动”中的角色、他本人在其中的角色,以及他跟参与“暴动”的中国人的关系。侦讯者说,他在香港的“反中反党”言行可在中国被关,因为香港是中国的一部份。

侦讯一整天后再移往罗湖警局,或许是为了让拘留时间再延长24小时,或许可以无限期一直这样在各地公安移来移去让他无限期被拘留。从此时开始到获释为止都不准郑戴眼镜,他一直头昏眼花。

特务在移监警车上放Beyond 的“大地”,制服公安说他是从国安局被移送过来,高层指示要控他“武装叛乱及暴动刑事罪”。

在罗湖警局所有入监程序再来一次,侦讯室里有十人,一半是便衣(特务),一半是制服公安,郑再次拒绝提供手机解锁密码。国安特务让便衣公安主导问话,指控他“召妓”,如果态度配合可以减轻罪名,如果只是行政拘留不会留下刑事犯罪纪录,否则就要面对无限期刑事拘留和重大刑事罪名指控,特务也会严刑伺候。他别无选择只好认罪。

侦讯期间,即使被捕超过24小时仍不准与家人联络,公安特务说会把他的案子用公文送交国际刑警组织Interpol,再由Interpol 转告港警,港警才会寄通知信给郑家人,但是港警忙着处理香港状况,所以不知道什么时候港警才能收到通知。(郑获释后跟家人确认,家人完全没有收到任何官方通知)

因为行政拘留不需要经过法院正常审理程序,所以不准郑寻求律师协助。

郑认罪后特务放心离开侦讯室,郑被送回牢房等候“行政处罚裁定”文件,文件怎么写完全由警察决定。

在拘留室里有其他嫌犯向他打探如何透过从军方式取得美国护照,郑警觉这些是卧底特务,所以打哈哈应付过去,卧底很快就由制服警卫带走。

制服公安拿着“裁罚文件”要他签名画押,但文件上故意把拘留的时间(开始和中止日期)留白,虽然文件上写的是15天的行政拘留,但起始和中止日留白,就可以让公安和特务任意解释他的拘留时期。公安说这项决定来自非常高层,是“局长”的层级。

接下来郑被送进罗湖拘留中心,第一次被上手铐脚镣,遭裸体检查和穿囚服。特务可能尚未告知公安他的特殊身份,第一天他被送进有十几个其他犯人的囚室,其他人可以买水果点心,只有郑不行。因郑不准与家人联络,其他嫌犯怀疑他是因政治问题被捕,还有人记下郑在港住家电话,愿意出去以后帮他向家人传口信:说他因香港事件被捕,叫家人千万不要来中国。

后来郑又被以涉“政治罪”名义带出问话,问同样的问题,回拘留室后其他嫌犯都知道他是政治犯,不敢再跟他交谈。从进罗湖拘留中心第二天起,郑都遭单独监禁,行政拘留嫌犯本来有每周跟家人会面或用电话联络至少一次,每天放风两小时的福利和权利,但郑通通不适用。

此后郑每天都被长时间问讯,无从得知确定的获释日期,更不知道所谓的15天拘留期过后是否真的会获释。

特务在拘留所官员面前强迫他交出手机密码,硬扯住他的头发好让手机用人脸解锁,还说怀疑他是英国间谍和特务。在特务施暴之后,郑交出手机密码。拘留中心官员也被特务动粗吓到,特务要求拘留中心官员把他用手铐铐在老虎凳上,官员虽有迟疑但仍然照办。

在拘留中心每天被特务带走侦讯,拘留中心主管每天在他被问话之前和之后,都叫医生替他进行全身检查。拘留中心的一般公安和负责侦讯的特务分属不同系统,特务在拘留中心以外地方问话动用私刑较不受监督,假如是在拘留中心以外地点受伤,拘留所主管所负责任也较轻。

被特务带出拘留中心侦讯时,郑被上手铐脚镣,头戴头套所以呼吸困难,经常头昏有窒息感。坐上无标志的厢型车前要把囚衣反穿以隐藏他的身份,上车后则被要求躺在后座,避免车外人看到他。车行30、40分钟后抵达不知名地点,经过草地、上楼梯,进入一个小房间。郑听到有人移动家具的声音,猜想是刑具,郑说不必刑求他会配合所有认罪,特务说不是刑求,是“训练”。

郑被上手铐脚镣后吊挂在X 形铁支架上,整个人大字撑开连续数小时,双手高举血液无法流至手臂,非常痛苦。有时被要求做“压力测试”,例如长时间蹲下或做“椅子式”。只要做不到要求就会被特务用尖棍打。特务还会专戳身体最脆弱或发抖的部位如膝盖。郑全程都被蒙眼戴头套。

酷刑侦讯休息时间可以进食,但仍戴着手铐脚镣和蒙眼,休息时间是政治洗脑时间。比如中国目前不适合施行全面民主,多数人民未受良好教育,治国需要高度专业技术,只能由精选的少数才能者执行。赋权大众的自由派民主制度是颠倒是非的民粹主义。侦讯者举哥白尼提太阳中心论遭罗马教会迫害的历史例子,展现菁英心态。

酷刑继续:长时间站立(手铐脚镣蒙眼头套),不准动也不准睡着,否则要被罚唱中国国歌。用剥夺睡眠进行非体罚式酷刑。在接受这种刑罚时,郑一个字也不准说,国安特务表示,郑必须先说“报告长官”征求许可才能发言,否则会被掌掴,或用不明工具拍击脸部,可能是尖棍。

其中一名侦讯者操类似香港口音,指控他怎么胆敢当英国间谍监视中国,连粪土都不如。另一人操北方汉语口音,自称隶属特务当局,因为英国使领馆被视为间谍组织,而郑身为英国领事馆职员,自然也是间谍组织一部份。郑被问到是否认识英国国内情报处和国外情报处人员,英国驻港领事馆的建筑配置,职员证件的样子。

侦讯者对问答式侦讯法感到不满,要求郑主动认罪,最主要是要他配合所谓英国涉入香港抗争的指控,要他承认英国政府提供金钱、物资和装备给港人,要他承认曾经主导、参与或煽动暴力示威,要他承认使用自英国政府领取的薪水替在港被捕的中国示威者付保释金。

郑发现这些指控非常严重,一旦认罪可能遭中国关押数十年甚至被判无期徒刑,因此无论特务施何种酷刑均坚不认罪。

第一周特务发现郑的脚踝、大腿和手腕、膝盖都有严重瘀伤,下令他回拘留中心时不得告知医生真相,要说他是自己在拘留中心外滑倒。拘留所医生有纪录他的伤势。接下来郑有几天无法行走,特务暂停体罚改打心理战,第二周仍单独监禁,3天无人闻问。郑在这几天中靠静坐、祈祷(忍不住哭泣)、唱歌来打发时间并保持冷静。

特务拿跌打损伤软膏来替他治伤,希望瘀伤和伤口赶快消失。

后面几天他被带到“集体调查中心”,公安在此申请房间进行侦讯。在中心内他获准拿下遮眼布,郑看到特务在填写侦讯室的申请表格,还在他的文件上写着“机密”字样。

郑在这里看到十名同遭侦讯的年轻“嫌犯”,他们全都上了手铐,穿着橘色囚服。郑走过走廊时,听到有人在侦讯室里大喊,“把手举高点,你们示威的时候不是高举双手挥舞旗子吗?”郑猜想他们正在对香港示威者施以酷刑。

郑在这里的侦讯室被指“避重就轻”,暗示他选择对轻罪(召妓)罪名认罪,避开重罪(武装叛变及暴动)。

郑被问到为何示威者武力升级和勇武派势力扩大,郑说是港人对721元朗白衣人攻击事件的自卫手段。侦讯者火大,声称根本无需花钱雇黑帮攻击示威者,还说暴徒和中国爱国者理应、而且一定会自发性的越过边界攻击示威者。

新来的特务用普通话骂郑是“祖国叛徒”,并引用毛理论“人民民主专政”说,当局留意到郑是所谓泛民主派,但郑应知中国以民主方式统治多数中国人民,但因郑是“国家公敌”,才会用威权手段对付他。特务还保证郑必定会不在15天后获释,他至少还会再被控以“颠覆”罪名,还说可以用个人前途打包票,郑一定会继续被关押。

特务显然认为,郑没有在酷刑下崩溃的原因就是相信自己可在15天后获释。郑闻言后丧失生存意志,表示若15天还继续被关将会自杀。特务说郑身为任务失败的间谍本来就该自杀。

此后郑在拘留室里食不下咽。另一特务再说,假如郑态度配合,15天后仍有“重生”(获释)机会,条件是提供更多有关抗争与英国政府关连的情报。郑坚持只是抗争边缘者,且未参与暴力抗争。特务回说,“有些东西比暴力更可怕”,因为郑的背景,当局认为郑有潜力和政治野心,不可能只是边缘抗争者,暗示郑可能是抗争幕后主谋和英国傀儡。郑二度崩溃大哭,强调只想返港跟女友和家人团聚,还向特务下跪求饶。

郑被带出侦讯室时,看到一名年轻女孩正接受入监程序(手铐、囚服、体检)。负责郑案的特务故意说,女孩不过是另一个参与抗争被捕的人渣,问郑是否认识女孩,郑否认。

郑在移送回拘留中心的无标志囚车上再被蒙眼,特务要求郑坦诚说明港人对中国感想。郑问是否会被送到新疆“集中营”,因为在集中营内至少可运动,或者做有意义的事如种树等,好过在单人牢房里浪费时间。特务发火说,“集中营是纳粹政权底下才有的”,郑改口说是从央视那里得知有关新疆再教育和训练中心的消息,特务闭嘴。

这是郑最后一次被带出拘留中心问话,自被捕的第11天起(这是他获释后的推算,大约是国际媒体开始报导他失踪的时间点),他都是在拘留中心里被侦讯,侦讯者的态度也较温和。进入讯侦室前就有医生检查身体,还说这是最后一次侦讯。侦讯室里只有一名新的便衣公安,侦讯时间也非常短,公安强调他被拘留纯粹是因为他在中国“召妓”,郑在香港的言行中国公安无权管辖,所以跟他们无关。郑感到疑惑,这跟他打从被捕的第一天起听到的说法完全不同。

公安屡次强调,高层领导要看郑的态度来决定是否在15天后放人,并拿出两种“裁决文件”,一份是原本的15日行政拘留,另一份则是两年的再教育。公安说,警方有最终权力决定他是否会继续被关两年,郑获释后才明白,中国公安有不受法院监督即可片面抓人接受强制两年“再教育”的权力。

公安问郑第一个问题,是否要通知家人,郑答要,公安拿出两年再教育文件叫他签字,郑理解公安正暗中威胁他,所以改口答不用通知家人。公安说郑答得好,这才是正确“态度”。问第二个问题:为什么不用通知家人?因为你觉得丢脸吗?郑答“对”。第三个问题:你是否被严刑逼供?郑答“没有”。第四个问题:公安对待你好吗?郑答“很好”。第五个问题:为什么不找律师?“太丢脸了不敢请律师。”接着公安打开摄影机要他录认罪自白。

先前打过照面的公安进来,拿着七份“裁决文件”要他签名,有些日期依旧留白,郑展现“合作态度”全部签字画押。郑被要求把囚犯名牌挂在胸前,为“召妓”录制自白和道歉声明。郑被要求在镜头前唸两份预备好的文件,一份是关于召妓,另一份是关于“背叛祖国”。所有文件、书面声明、认罪影片都完成后,公安表示满意,并说因为他态度配合,所以会依原定计划于被捕15天后获释,这也是最后一次侦讯。这是郑第一次听到明确的拘留期限,笃定自己可以获释,因此向公安鞠躬致谢。郑头一晚可以安稳入睡。

到了第13或第14天,全新的特务又来对他进行新一轮侦讯,这次维持了48小时,是最久的一次,侦讯室里有3名侦讯者,另五名官员在隔壁房待命。不过官员侦讯态度也是他被捕期间最温和的一次。带头的侦讯者玩白警手段,试图用郑的母语客语和他交谈,还说自己曾在郑老家工作3年,认识郑在中国的亲戚和双亲。郑察觉这是暗地威胁他在中国家人的安危。官员还说把郑视为老乡,曾替他在高层前面求情等等,试图让郑以为他是获释的最后希望,又说高层认为郑的合作态度还不够,最多只是五五打平,意指他还是可能继续被关。特务再度希望从郑身上挖到更多情报。负责纪录的较低阶侦讯者说,当局已经删除了他手机上的所有社交软件,并已把手机上的所有资料备份,包括内容较敏感的工作邮件在内。

公安印出所有英国领事馆指示郑蒐集抗争情报的邮件,还有参与情蒐的人员电邮名单,郑被要求拍下把这些文件“自愿”交给公安的画面,还威胁他不得透露此事,否则会被英国政府控告“泄露机密内部情报”。

公安要求郑详述参加抗争的内情,还要他解释勇武派与和理非的差别,问他在Telegram频道里的勇武派是否具英国军事背景。公安拿出许多照片要他指认,要他写下被指认者的姓名、政治倾向、是否属和理非或勇武派,最后再签字画押。中国当局认为和理非与勇武派没有差别,因为他们互相协调且拒不割席,因此全都有罪。

公安明白表示有大批香港抗争者被捕后已送进中国拘留,因此他们可以蒐集和比对来自不同来源和被捕者的情报。公安拿出照片问郑是否曾去过佐登道连侬墙现场,照片非取自郑的手机,郑怀疑中国一直派人在香港蒐证。

公安追问郑和赴港参加抗争的中国人关系。最终目的是要把英国的金援、郑本人和他的中国友人串在一起,这名中国友人已于8月11日被送回中国拘留,下落不明。

中国写好的脚本是:英国是香港抗争的幕后外国势力之一,抗争并非无大台而是有组织的,郑本人是主谋之一,受英国指使去煽动港人示威,还是勇武派内核人物,跟反中国政府的自由派中国人合作,要在中国发动“颜色革命”。郑担心当局会继续控他颠覆、武装叛变与暴动、间谍、叛国等罪名。

特务还问郑跟知名“反中”政治人物的关系,这些人包括彭定康、周永康与梁天琦,中国知道郑曾在伦敦和梁天琦碰面,还说一名台湾籍的LSE讲师曾介绍梁天琦给郑认识并一起喝下午茶,国安问这名台籍学者是否打算在台提供梁工作机会,让梁不必返港受审。不论郑怎么澄清,特务坚持要郑以书面自白画押,指台湾学者是支持梁继续从事港台分裂运动的台湾间谍。

特务还问郑是否有其他假身份,在中国期间是否曾在政府机关外拍照。郑获释后得知李孟居案,怀疑李是因为在深圳与香港边界拍摄武警集结画面才被捕。

制服公安进来把召妓相关罪名的文件、书面和录像认罪自白、道歉声明再做一遍。国安特务则是把跟“背叛祖国”罪名有关的文件与道歉、自白声明和影片再做一次,还要郑录下唱中国国歌的画面,再把影片用手机寄给高层。特务后来说高层对郑表现满意,所以猜想他可以如期获释。

特务最后警告说,郑应谨记亲人在中国含辛茹苦把他抚养长大(中国知道郑的父母是在1970年代文革引发大饥荒后逃出中国,郑本人在英属香港出生),还说郑应照顾中国的老家和祖产。郑知道这又是当局对他在中国家人和财产的威胁。特务明言,假如郑获释后接受媒体访问,公开讲出任何“召妓”罪名以外的事,他就会被再次在香港被捕并送回中国,这是对他个人安全的明确威胁。国安特务暗示,郑已经是媒体焦点,虽然他得以获释,但磨难才刚刚开始而已。 特务也第一次泄露中国党媒里的特定人名,特务声称原本无意使出抹黑手段,但邪恶的外媒让他们别无选择只能这么做。

接下来自称中国港澳办官员现身,问郑对自由与民主的看法,再坚称西方民主不适用中国的说词,说教长达数小时,要求郑选边站替中国工作,希望郑获释后仍是朋友。其中一名自称姓王的官员还写下电话,说会交给拘留中心官员,在郑获释时交给他(并没有)。王先生暗示说因为他们在港澳办工作,所以很有机会在香港见到郑。郑怀疑港澳办企图逼他担任中国间谍,否则就会被再送中。

直到8月24日凌晨,郑才被送回单人牢房休息数小时,其后郑再被带回拘留中心会见拘留中心高层制服公安,郑被要求在有装潢的房间里,坐在软椅上再次依脚本内容录制自白影片,意图让外界认为郑在良好环境里受到人道待遇。郑总共录了好几次影片,官员从中挑选最满意的一支,再指示郑写信“申请提早获释”,理由是“避开香港入境港口人潮”。写完后官员立刻交还郑的手机、背袋、私人物品、衣物和眼镜。8月24日清晨5点半,郑被带出拘留中心大门。7名便衣及蒙面特务和两台深圳电动出租车等在门外,郑上车后约30分钟抵达罗湖港停车场,又有10名制服和便衣公安在场等候,有人持摄影机拍摄释放过程。郑在大批公安陪同下步行通关,其他旅客都大吃一惊,公安在郑走上通往香港的桥梁时才停下脚步。

郑此时才得以联系家人,他搭东铁回到九龙,在旅馆住了几天,因为中国公安知道他的住家和宿舍地址。英国领事馆官员前来探视。随后郑任职单位派外交车辆送他进领事馆,让郑对英国高官进行简报,使馆安全官要郑提防遭人跟监,尤其是戴着手环的人。

由于郑受到中国明确威胁不得透露被拘期间内情,英国领事馆给予他7个月的有薪假,让他到第3地国家避难。

郑离港前需向港警办理撤销失踪人口案,港警摆出同情态度,还说愿派私家车让郑到指定地点办手续免遭媒体包围。郑自搭出租车前往指定地点时,的确看到一名戴手环的可疑男子四处张望,男子的厢型车就停在港警的私家车后面。虽然3名港警下车出示警证,郑仍表示宁可自行搭车到油麻地警局办手续,港警同意。郑在警局前下车时,又在警局大门外看到另一名戴手环的男子。郑怀疑这两名可疑男子为监视他的中国卧底特务,目的是警告他不得对港警透露内情,这样港警才不会在官方文件上留下纪录。港警在办手续过程态度有礼,郑只说“无法回答”失踪后经历,最终顺利撤回失踪人口案。

此后郑即离港前往第三地,开始与英国政府协调离职方案,英国政府要求他在11月辞职,结束他在领事馆2年的工作。

郑目前正寻求取得居留权和工作、求学的机会,希望外界,尤其是公民社会伸出援手,让他重拾正常生活并重返劳动市场。

郑文杰英文声明全文

https://pse.is/MCP6W

For the Record: An Enemy of the State

An Enemy of the State is “something is worse than violence”

My name is Simon Cheng and this is my statement regarding the events of August 2019:

Major points of the statement:

I did no harm and did nothing I regret to anyone and all the people I love and cherish.
I deny the arbitrary accusations against me made by the authorities which were obtained through an illegal process, includes using torture, threats and coercion.
I won’t seek a judicial remedy as I have no confidence and trust in the opaque Chinese judicial system and after enduring such a terrible experience.
I anonymise and avoid mentioning certain details of the case in order to protect innocent people who may get into trouble from this exposure.
I speak out now because the case is relevant to the public interest on knowing the flawed judicial process in Mainland China, but I have tried my best to protect personal privacy.
I condemn the witch hunt made by Chinese Communist Party mouthpieces, esp. the political labelling of “anti-China”.
I have not fully recovered from the trauma of what happened to me and because of the greater risk of retaliation that I face, I will give no further comment on the case.

The rest of an account
I personally support the pro-democracy movement and joined the Hong Kong protests in 2019, including maintaining and safeguarding the Lennon Wall in Jordan, but I did nothing illegal or illegitimate during the events.
British Consulate-General Hong Kong instructed staff to collect information about the status of protests in order to evaluate travel alerts and whether British[w3] Citizens are involved. This involved joining Telegram groups, LIHKG discussion broad, and monitoring news channels. This also included approaching protestor groups to learn more about their goals.
I knew some Mainland Chinese who participated in the Hong Kong protests. A few of them were arrested by Hong Kong police and released on bail afterwards.
I tried organising a study circle on social sciences, esp. academic books on Chinese society, in Hong Kong. The members are HongKongers and Mainlanders with a background in government, banking, law, and literature.
On 8 August 2019, I travelled to Shenzhen for a business trip. I got a massage for relaxation after work hours, then met the parents of a mainland protestor to bring money back for his living cost to go through the judicial process in Hong Kong.
I had heard the rumours that HongKongers would be targeted at border checkpoints for examinations of cell-phone for evidence of attendance or support of the protests. I arranged with my girlfriend and friends that I would keep reporting my whereabouts and safety.
I was stopped while I was passing through the border from Mainland within Hong Kong West Kowloon Highspeed Railway Station, after I took the high-speed train from Shenzhen Futian Railway Station. The uniformed police wore wear tiny cameras on their shoulders and started to film me.
In the Hong Kong West Kowloon Railway Station (Mainland Chinese) Police Station, the uniformed police claimed they stopped me because of the order instructed by senior officials. They said they don’t know the reasons or details.
They asked for the passcode to access my iPhone. I refused because it is a work phone which contains sensitive work information and private conversations (including political comments criticising authorities) with friends.
From this police station I was sent to Shenzhen by high-speed train and handed over to plainclothes police officers. I later learnt they are from the State Security Bureau (the political/secret police). Unlike the uniformed police who had shown politeness in West Kowloon Station, they were rude and rough and started interrogating me in the Futian police station.
Before the interrogations began, they took “prisoner photos” (holding a name plate and being photographed all around in front of the height ruler). They tried to connect my iPhone to their computer to extract its content and download a backup (it probably failed as they didn’t get my passcode at that moment), and obtained my biometric information through blood and urine test, full palmprints and fingerprints, etc.
During the interrogation, I was in a cell siting on a steel “tiger chair.” I had been buckled up on the chair and cannot move.
I was asked three types of question: 1.) The UK role in the Hong Kong “riots”; 2.) my role in the “riots”; and 3.) my relations with mainlanders who joined the “riots”.
Interrogators called me a “man in black”, which is a name usually used for the young protestors in Hong Kong. They criticised and lamented me working for the UK to attract investment leaving the country, while the world is now coming to China and kowtowing to China for better business opportunities.
Interrogators said although my words and actions against the country and the party had been practiced in Hong Kong, I can be punished based on Mainland law once in Mainland China, as Hong Kong is a part of China.
After being questioned for an entire day, I was transferred to another police station in Lo Wu. Police did this so the time in detention for questioning without charge could be prolonged for another 24 hours. Perhaps they can do this indefinitely. From this point until my release, I was not allowed to wear my glasses and felt dizzy all the time.
In the police car, secret police played the song - “The Grand Earth” by the Hong Kong band “Beyond”. The lyrics mentioned a person need to be separated from the hometown and the family in the coming indefinite future.
The uniformed police whispered that I was handed over from “State Security Bureau” and a senior leader instructed that I will be charged as a “criminal suspect of armed rebellion and rioting”.
At Lo Wu Police Station, I redid the enrolment procedures (took prisoner photos, body check, DNA test, urine test, biometric info collection, etc). In the interrogation room was around 10 officers, half in plainclothes (secret police) and half in uniform (civilian police). They again asked but failed to get my iPhone passcode.
Secret police let the civilian uniformed police lead the interrogation. They claimed that external sources reported that I “solicited prostitution”. If I cooperate then I will face a less hard treatment. I would not get a criminal record under administrative detention. The alternative was indefinite criminal detention, severe criminal charge and harsh treatment handled by secret police. I have no choice but to give a confession.
During the interrogation, I was not allowed to contact my family even after 24 hours. They claimed my case will be reported to my family by the police sending a written letter to Interpol which will then be forwarded to Hong Kong police, then Hong Kong police will send letter to my family. However, they are “not sure when will Hong Kong police know because they are too busy to handle what I clearly know (hinting at the protests)”. (After my release, I noted that my family actually didn’t receive any official letter about my status and whereabouts).
Because the administrative detention does not have to go through the due process of trial at court, I was also not allowed to call for legal support from lawyers.
After giving a confession, I can sense the secret police were relieved and left the room. I was taken back to a cell to wait for the “administrative penalty decision” document, which is solely and arbitrarily decided by the police.
During the time in the cell waiting for “decision document” on penalty, “inmates” asked me very tricky and unusual questions. One who looked like a slim drug-addict asked how to obtain a US passport to join an army against China. I inferred that they may be undercovers, so I didn’t touch much sensitive issues, and they were soon escorted out of the custody by two uniformed guards.
One uniformed police officer came over with “decision document” for me to sign with fingerprints. They left the period of detention (from when to when) field blank and ordered me to press fingerprint on it. They intended to interpret the period of my imprisonment whenever they need.
They made a maximum penalty of up to 15-day administrative detention but the paper left blank the space to indicate the starting date. I believe it was a tactic to secretly and arbitrarily incarcerate me for an even longer period.
The police officer told me that the decision had been made at a very senior level – “Bureau Chief”. However, he didn’t elaborate and asked will I lose my job, but I didn’t reply.
After several hours back in the cell, I was handcuffed and delivered to a biometric collection centre for detention. This was already the third time to do the enrolment procedure (prisoner photo, blood test, urine test, etc…) but the first time I experienced being handcuffed, shackled, wearing a prison jumpsuit, and undergoing a naked body check.
Then I was sent to Lo Wu detention centre. I suspect the secret police hadn’t yet told the civilian police and correctional officers in the centre about the sensitivity of my case, so the detention centre managers put me in a cell with around 16 mainland inmates who were minor law offenders.
I had the happiest moment in detention with these inmates, as I finally had a chance to chat, and they were kind and shared pears, bread, biscuits, cakes, and pickles (I was exclusively ineligible to buy all these).
While chatting with these inmates, they had doubts about the police case against me. They mentioned I shouldn’t be sentenced and treated that harshly, and the way and location I was captured was unusual and weird. They believe I was targeted politically.
As they knew I was not allowed to communicate with my parents, one of the inmates agreed to help convey a message after he was to be released after few days. I left my home phone number with a message: “I was detained because of what is happening in Hong Kong. Don’t come to Mainland”.
I was then taken out for interrogation over “political crimes”, with similar questions being asked as before. I was brought back to the cell around midnight. After that, inmates didn’t dare to look at me, and they whispered that “we can’t talk to you otherwise we can’t be released too”. I sensed they were being threatened and warned. Certainly, no message can be sent out.
From the second day in the detention centre onwards, I was held in solitary confinement for the rest of the detention period. The law for administrative detainees’ welfare and rights, which clearly states that inmates are allowed to meet or call parents at least once per week and two-hour activities outside the cell per day, were exclusively not applied to me.
Since then, I was interrogated for days and days, hours after hours. I can’t get double confirmation from authorities what was the exact release date. For sure I didn’t know if it will truly be the end after the proposed 15-day detention.
I was handcuffed and interrogated within the detention centre; secret police arrived and the detention centre staff and correctional officers monitored the whole process. Secret police forced me to open my iPhone by grabbing my hair to do the facial recognition. The interrogator said: “We suspect you are a British spy and secret agent”. After they used violence, I gave my passcode.
Correctional officers and detention centre staff seemed a bit shocked when they saw the violence. Secret police asked them to lock me up with handcuffs on the bar attached to the tiger chair. Although they seemed hesitant, they followed the orders to do so.
In the following days, secret police took me out of the detention centre for interrogations. The head of the detention centre instructed doctors to do a full body check every time I was taken and returned to the detention centre, before and after the questionings.
As the unit which held me (civilian police) and the unit which interrogated me (secret police) are from different systems, I sensed that the secret police are less monitored to do interrogation using torture outside the detention centre. The detention centre managers have less responsibility if physical harm to me is caused outside their facilities.
When the secret police took me out of the detention centre, I was handcuffed, shackled, blindfolded and hooded (so it was hard to breathe). I was not allowed to wear glasses from the very beginning, so I kept feeling dizzy and suffocated.
Before I was blindfolded, I glimpsed a private van outside. They asked me to wear the prison jumpsuit and vest inside-out (for hiding my identity and information from others outside), then I was handcuffed, shackled, blindfolded and hooded. They dragged me into the private van, then instructed me to lay on the rear bench seat (trying not let others outside see me). It felt like a kidnapping.
It was around 30-40 minute drive, then I was delivered to an unknown place. That area was quiet and seemed like a secluded place. I was dragged through grassy areas, went up a few steps, then put into a room. I heard the sound of moving something like furniture, I realised that may be the tools for torture. I said: “I will confess whatever you want, torture is not necessary”. They said it is not torture but “training”.
I was hung (handcuffed and shackled) on a steep X-Cross doing a spread-eagled pose for hours after hours. I was forced to keep my hands up, so blood cannot be pumped up my arms. It felt extremely painful.
Sometimes, they ordered me to do the “stress tests”, which includes extreme strength exercise such as “squat” and “chair pose” for countless hours. They beat me every time I failed to do so using something like sharpened batons. They also poked my vulnerable and shivering body parts, such as knee joint. I was blindfolded and hooded during the whole torture and interrogations, I sweated a lot, and felt exhausted, dizzy and suffocated.
When they fed me during a short break between torture (I was still handcuffed, shackled, and blindfolded), they started to do politically correctional education and united front work. They said China is a country where it is not suitable to have full democracy at the moment because the majority of the population are still not well educated, and statecraft and good governance are highly professional skills which can only be managed and handled by a selective and capable minority. The so-called liberal democracy that empowered the mass public could only be populism which justifies what is wrong is right. They gave a historical example - Nicolaus Copernicus - a Renaissance-era astronomer who was targeted and bullied by the mass public just because he formulated a model that challenged the popular (church) belief by saying the Sun rather than Earth is at the centre of the universe. The interrogators showed an elitism mindset.
Sometimes, they instructed me to stand still (handcuffed, shackled, blindfolded, and hooded) for hours after hours. I was not allowed to move and fall asleep, and if I did, then I would be punished by being forced to sing the Chinese national anthem, which they said can “wake me up”. This was the non-physical torture – sleep deprivation - they used against me.
While being subjected to this torture, I was not allowed to say even one word. They said they had a “rule” that I should seek their permission to speak (by saying “report, my master”). If I didn’t follow this rule, then they slapped my mouth and face with unknown weapons (felt like a sharpen baton).
One low male voice spoke native Cantonese and his accent is similar to HongKongers. He said: “how dare you work for the British to supervise Chinese, you would be treated worsen than shit”. Another male voice with northern-accented Mandarin said: “We are from secret intelligence service. You are also part of it [intelligence service] as Embassy/ Consulate is a publicly recognised spy agency. Therefore, you should know you have no human rights in this place”.
They started asking me if I know MI5 and MI6, anyone who seemingly work for both agencies, the building structure of the British Consulate-General Hong Kong, what floor for what departments and what the staff passes look like, etc.
They were unhappy with the “question and answer” model, so requested that I proactively confess the “crimes I committed” regardless of what questions they ask. They expected I can complete their plot about “foreign meddling” in the Hong Kong protests.
They expected me to confess 1.) UK instigates the riots in Hong Kong by donating money, materials and equipment; 2.) I organise, participate and incite the protest in violent way; 3.) I pay the bail, using my salary from UK government, for those mainlanders who were arrested by Hong Kong police.
Realising the seriousness of the crime they accused me of would probably mean I would be sentenced for over decades or even for life in prison, I solemnly denied the accusations no matter how harsh I was treated.
In the first week, the secret police saw I was seriously bruised on ankles, thighs, wrists, and knees, so they ordered me to not tell the truth to the doctors back in detention centre, and to claim it was because I slipped on the floor during the interrogations outside of the detention center. The doctors jotted down my injuries on the medical record in the detention centre.
Realising I can’t even walk in the following days, they paused physical torture but did more psychological way. In the second week, I was still in solitary confinement with no communication and no questionings for three consecutive days. In this solitude, I meditated, prayed (while I cried) and sang for killing time and calming me down while I faced uncertainty.
The secret police brought ointment and oil to heal my physical injuries, and tried to have my bruises and wounds fade away quickly.
In the following days, they took me out to the “collective investigation centre” which is a place where police apply for a room for interrogation. I was allowed to take off the blindfold inside the centre. I saw the secret police filling out forms in the reception/ registration counter, and they wrote “secret” on my case file while applying for an interrogation room there.
Then I saw around 10 young “criminal suspects” who were receiving interrogations in the centre. They are all handcuffed and in orange prisoner vest. When I walked through the corridor, I heard one voice shout out from one of the questioning rooms: “raise your hands higher! Didn’t you raise your hands and wave the flags in the protest?!” I guess they were torturing Hong Kong protestors.
In the interrogation room, I was accused of “avoided the heavy and choosing the light”, basically hinting I chose to confess the minor offence (soliciting prostitution) rather than the serious crimes (armed rebellion and rioting).
While asking why the protestors are becoming violent and the valour groups (using aggressive tactics) are proliferating, I mentioned it is a self-defence response to the Yuen Long Men-in-White Attack on 21 and 22 July. It is commonly suspected the triad gangsters and thugs, who attacked protestors and citizens, were instructed and paid by pro-Beijing lawmaker Junius Ho Kwan-yiu, and the Hong Kong police were also suspected of conspiring in the attack. The interrogators felt angry and replied there is no need to pay attackers, because they and other patriotic Chinese should and will voluntarily go across the border and beat rioters, if the border gate can be opened and even removed.
One new secret police came over and behaved very rudely, he pointed at my face and shouted in Mandarin: “you are a traitor to the motherland!” He also quoted Maoism theory - “People’s Democratic Dictatorship” that: “we noted you are a so-called pro-democrat, but you should know we rule democratically to most of the Chinese people, however, we rule autocratically on you because you are our ‘state enemy”. He also “guaranteed” that I will not be released after 15 days because I will be further charged with at least “subversion” afterwards. He claimed that he is prepared to bet his career on my further imprisonment.
He probably knew the reason why I didn’t lose my sanity was because the hope, no matter how grim my treatment, that I was going to be released after 15 days. While facing this hostility, I lost my will to fight for survival, and replied I will commit suicide if there is no definite end of my detention after 15 days. His response was furious and said it should be my destiny, as a failed spy, to accomplish this duty - terminating a life.
After this I had no appetite to have a meal in the room. Another secret police told me I still have a choice to be “reborn” (released) after 15 days if I act in a “cooperative attitude” by giving more information about the connection between the protests and the UK. I insisted I was just a peripheral participant and didn’t protest violently. He replied, “something is far worse than violence”, “it is impossible you are peripheral from the anti-government movement as we can sense you have potential and political ambition based on your background”, hinting that I am suspected as a mastermind and British proxy behind the protests.
That was the second time I cried. I mentioned that I only want is simply to be reunited with my girlfriend and family in Hong Kong. I felt deeply sorry for them who are suffering because of my belief in democracy. Then I kneeled and begged for mercy. They rejected it and asked me to stand up.
While escorting me out of the “collective investigation centre”, I saw one young girl who was doing the enrolment procedure (handcuffed, wearing prisoner vest, body check, etc.). The secret police who was handling my case clearly stated that: “honestly, she is one of the scums who was caught because of joining the anti-government protest in Hong Kong”. He asked if I knew and recognised her, I shook head.
On the private van back to the detention centre, I was blindfolded again. One secret police told me to calm down. Another secret police asked me what does the mass public think of China, and said that I can tell him the truth.
I replied: “Most HongKongers recognise the speedy business development, mass infrastructure building and technology advancement in recent decades, and do appreciate that people can benefit from such big leaps in modernisation and start to be proud as Chinese in the international arena. However, the growing party-state nationalism prevailing in younger generations had shown intolerance and assertiveness towards political dissidents and those in peripheral regions. When people believe in nothing but power and wealth, it reinforces authoritarianism and economic and military expansion is inevitable. When minorities face the trade-off between ‘patriots’ and ‘democrats’, and between ‘economic interest’ and ‘political freedom’, people make a choice and take side. I believe people who are advocating for more liberal democracy are unnecessarily called separatists. If they are welcomed in the country, they can be patriotic establishment[w4] .”
I also asked if I can be transferred to a “concentration camp” in Xinjiang if I have to be under unlimited detention for further political charges because I can at least exercise and do something meaningful, such as planting trees while chatting with inmates with better scenery, rather than wasting away in solitary confinement, waiting for nothing in a cell.
Secret police were a bit angry and said, “concentration camp is from Nazi regime”, and asked from which media I heard about this. I corrected myself and said that it should be “re-education and training camp” which I heard from CCTV. They were silent.
The driver broke the silence and stopped the conversation by criticising me with disdain: “cheating for sympathy”.
That was the last day I was interrogated outside of the detention centre. Since Day 11 (which is the timing I later learned after I was released that my disappearance had been reported on the global news), I was interrogated back within the detention centre again, and they treated me more gently.
In the following days, the secret police summoned me to the interrogation room. This time, before I got in the room, doctor did body check, and told me this would be the last interrogation. In the room, I saw only one plainclothes officer there, and I never ever seen him before. The interrogation is surprisingly short compared with previous questionings. He suddenly emphasised why I was detained is merely because of “soliciting prostitution”, and that what I did in Hong Kong is none of their business as it is out of their jurisdiction. I was confused as what he said is exactly the opposite from what they told me on Day 1.
He repeatedly told me senior leaders were looking into my “attitude”, and he claimed they were undecided on whether to let me go after 15-day detention. He showed two different types of “decision documents”, one is for 15-day detention as originally proposed and signed before, and the other one is for two more years, in the name of “Re-education through sheltering”.
He said the police have ultimate power to decide whether I can be further imprisoned for two more years, and he read clauses about their power out to me. What I later understood (after I was released), is that police have arbitrary power to detain people (claimed to be minor offenders) for enforced “re-education” without judicial review and endorsement by court for up to two years. This is already a controversial and draconian clause in Mainland China, after “custody and repatriation” and “re-education through labour” had been abolished.
He then asked me a few questions: 1.) Do you want your parents to be notified? – I replied yes. He gave the decision document on two-year “re-education” imprisonment to me for sign. Then I realised he indirectly threatened and instructed me. Then I replied “no”. He said I did very well and that is the “attitude”. 2.) If no, why? Because you feel shameful? – “yes”; 3.) Had you been tortured or enforced to confess? – “No”; 4.) Did the police treat you well? – “Yes”; 5.) Why didn’t you ask for a lawyer? – “I am too shameful to ask for help”. Then he turned on the camera filming my confession.
Suddenly, one uniformed officer came in the room, I recognised him as the one who brought the “decision document” for me to sign in the custody in Day 2 or 3. He gave me around seven decision papers to sign again, and some content fields (such as dates) are all blank. I had shown “cooperative attitude” so I signed with fingerprints.
That uniformed officer asked me out to the front lobby of the detention centre, instructed me to take my name plate and to show it in front of my chest, and started filming my apology and confession for “soliciting prostitution”.
I was taken back to the interrogation room, and the plainclothes officer passed two A4 papers to me and requested I prepare two “written statements of repentance”, one for “soliciting prostitution” and one for “betraying the motherland”. After review, I was asked to recite it, and they filmed it.
After all the paperwork, written statements, and filming of confession had been done, he felt happy and told me that based on my “cooperative attitude”, I will be released as proposed at 15 days and this would be the last interrogation. That is the first time I received reassurance on my exact detention period and future.
I felt extremely relieved and bowed deeply to him, saying thank you again and again. Then he allowed me to leave and go back to the cell. That was the moment I can finally begin to feel mentally stable and have a calmer sleep.
However, they reversed what they decided and around Day 13 and 14 a brand-new team of secret police came and summoned me to have new round of interrogation. This round lasted the longest ever, continuously for 48 hours. 3 officers in the interrogation room, and around 5 officers, as a back-up team, were standing by in the next room. They maintained a gentle manner which I had rarely experienced throughout my whole detention.
One of the interrogators, seemingly a leader of the team, started to have a chat with me gently – a “good cop” routine. Firstly, he tried talking in my hometown dialect, Hakka, and he mentioned he once served for three years in my ancestral homeland, stating he is familiar with my relatives and parents in Mainland China. I felt that is a double-edged tactics showing a sense of familiarity and intimacy to me, while threatening to target my relatives and family who were, who are, and who will be in mainland.
He claimed he has a deep connection with my hometown and regarded me as his hometown fellow. Originally, he was not supposed to see me but because of his sympathy to my case, he tried his best to meet me and help before the senior leaders make a decision on my case. After doing a background check, he also claimed, he felt very sad that such an intelligent and honourable man with a promising future could be ruined if sentenced to two-year imprisonment or more, and how sorry my family and hometown relatives would be. He reiterated my academic and professional achievements were not easy for someone from a grassroot family, and this should make all those in my ancestral hometown proud. He had tried to show he is the last hope and saviour to get me out.
He mentioned the senior leaders think my “attitude” is still lukewarm, 50-50, meaning I would probably be further incarcerated. Again, they want to see my “cooperative attitude” – by digging out more information from me.
Another junior and younger interrogator, who was also responsible for jotting down notes, mentioned they had reinstalled deleted social media apps (Telegram, WhatsApp, and others) on my mobile phone, and accessed and backed up the data on their computers, including sensitive conversations from my work email. He was suddenly interrupted by the senior team leader, hinting that shouldn’t have been told to me.
To “the UK’s role behind the Hong Kong protests”, they printed out the email conversations about the British Consulate’s instructions, procedures and labour division between UK-based and locally-engaged staff to collect information about the protests in Hong Kong, and the list of staff for this mission. They instructed me to film that I handed over the papers to them “voluntarily”, and they warned me not to speak out as I would probably be charged by the UK for “leaking sensitive and internal information”. They also asked if anyone has, or who I suspected has, military or state security background involved in the mission and is collecting information in Hong Kong. They can identify few in the mailing list shown on the papers.
To “my role in the Hong Kong protests”, they asked when, which, and how did I join the protests, and accessed Telegram to search for details. They gave me an A4 paper to write down the difference between “valour bloc” and “peaceful bloc” amongst the protestor groups, and what is the “reactive valorous” (self-defensive vigilante for protecting peaceful protestors) and “pro-active valorous” (water-revolutionary front hardliners). They found several telegram channels are “valour blocs” then asked if there was someone who had British military background in the channel. I remember one group had and replied yes. However, I don’t know the details as that is just a “reactive valorous” group which organised people to do gym and to teach self-defence martial arts amongst the unknown netizens. I was just a channel browser and didn’t join any gathering.
They also asked me to draft an “organisational chart” of the “pro-active valorous” group which they had found from my Telegram, then they ordered the back-up team to remodel the chart to be more sophisticated on the computer. Afterwards, they gave me a pile of photos (some are passport-style profile photos), once I recognise someone I know, they ordered me to write down his or her name, their political affiliation, whether they are peaceful or valour protestors, then sign with fingerprints. From their perspective, there is no difference between peaceful or valour protestors as they are coordinated and don’t blame each other, therefore they are the “culprits” no matter people joined peacefully or violently, legally or illegally. They finally identified few key activists and other peripheral participants.
The secret police clearly stated that batches after batches of Hong Kong protestors had been caught, delivered and detained in Mainland China, so they collected and mutually verified the information amongst different sources and detainees. They also asked if I safeguarded the Lennon Wall in Jordan and showed me a picture of the posters on the wall there. That photo is not from my mobile phone, I suspect they have eyes and ears for gathering information in Hong Kong.
To “my relations with mainlanders who joined the protests”, they asked the details of where, when and how we met, and which protests did we join in Hong Kong. They targeted one of the mainland protestors who had been arrested by Hong Kong police, and asked if he supported the protestor groups by selling equipment, clothing, printed posters purchased and delivered from Mainland China, and what is the networks of people and resources behind him in the Mainland. He is a liberal and was previously a mainland journalist but didn’t survive after facing media censorship. Secret police put him on the target list after he bought and sold books, including sensitive and politically prohibited books, from Hong Kong and Taiwan to Mainland China. Although he is not well-educated and is less respected in society (when I was asked how we met, I explained we both love to discuss social issues in study circles and media groups, some interrogators doubted this, as elitists usually think, thinking it seemed like I discussed a professional subject with a farmer), but he does love reading books. That’s probably the reason that his unhappy experience facing media censorship, the hardship for making a living in Mainland China, and the books from outside of China he read, finally moulded him into a radical liberal against one-party and authoritarian China. This mainlander was on bail in Hong Kong then was sent back to Mainland China on 11 August. Since then, he has been in criminal detention for unknown charges without any updates. He was forced to “confess” that I helped advise him on political asylum and/ or paid his bail, which I already unequivocally denied. I realise they aimed to financially link the UK, me, and him together.
Summarising three types of question in the interrogations: they firmly believe the UK is one of the foreign powers to meddle with the Hong Kong protests; the protest itself is well organised and not truly leaderless; and I was suspected of being a mastermind and British proxy to incite and organise the protests in Hong Kong, a core member of “valour group” joining the riots violently, and to instruct or coordinate the mainland liberals against one-party authoritarian system to bring a “colour revolution” to Mainland China. Rather than finding the truth, the interrogations are more likely to fulfil and prove their pre-written play by filling in the information they want from the detainees. In that situation, I believe they intended to further charge me with either 1.) subversion; 2.) armed rebellion and rioting; 3.) espionage; or 4.) betrayal, as the first and second charges and the further administrative detention by “re-education by sheltering” had been clearly mentioned and using as threats during interrogations.
The secret police also asked my relations with prominent “anti-Chinese” politicians and activists, such as Chris Patten, Alex Chow and Edward Leung. While talking about the meet-up with Edward Leung in London, they noted one LSE lecturer/ researcher from Taiwan had introduced Edward and had an afternoon tea with me, asking if this LSE lecturer/ researcher intended to persuade Edward not to face the trial in Hong Kong by providing job support back in Taiwan. No matter how I clarified that lecturer had no intention to encourage illegal and politically motivated action against Chinese authorities, they insisted to include in a written confession signed with fingerprints that they are a “Taiwanese agent who aimed to support Edward Leung continuously work on secessionist movement for Hong Kong and Taiwan”.
They kept asking whether I have second or more fake identities, and if I took any photo within or outside of government buildings in Mainland China. I clearly denied. These questions made me feel they still suspected I am a British agent. After my release it made me think of the 44-year-old Taiwanese, Lee Meng-chu, as I heard and read the news after my release that he had been criminally detained since 20 August for “suspected engendering Chinese state security” after taking pictures of paramilitary police amassing on the border between Shenzhen and Hong Kong.
One uniformed officer came over and redid the written confession record, apology statement letter, and confession tape for “soliciting prostitution”, then left. The secret police were back and did confession letters and tapes again for “betrayal to the motherland”, and instructed me to sing a Chinese national anthem, while recorded by their mobile phone, then sent to senior leaders. I had shown my “cooperative attitude”. Afterwards, the secret police said the senior leaders are happy about my attitude, and he guessed I would likely be confirmed to be released on time.
Finally, the secret police said I should remember the hardship that my relatives and family had gone through in Mainland and raised me up to be an adult (they noted my parents fled from Mainland China during the great famine just after the Cultural Revolution in 1970s, then I was born in British Hong Kong). They also said I should take care of ancestral house and assets in Mainland. I can sense that is the hidden threat targeting my relatives and assets in Mainland China. Moreover, they clearly stated that if I receive media interviews and speak out anything other than “soliciting prostitution” publicly, I will be taken back to Mainland China from Hong Kong, that is an obvious threat to personal safety. They hinted I am already on the spotlight of the media, telling me although I will be released, the real ordeal is just beginning. That was the time they leaked the specific name of the charge to the Chinese party mouthpieces. They claimed they originally didn’t intend to play smear tactics but the foreign media, which they described as the true devil, gave them no choice but to go public.
Afterwards, the secret police left for the next room, and two middle-aged men came into the room. They claimed they work for the China’s Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office. They reiterated they were not here to do “political correctional education and united front works” as they believe I am too well-educated on politics and can’t be persuaded. However, I was asked about my philosophy on freedom and democracy, then they insisted to elaborate the rationales on “why western democratic system is not suitable to China”, and the preaching lasted for almost several hours.
They asked me to take a side and that I should work for my motherland – China. They said although we have different political beliefs and opinions, they are open to listening and discussing because we are still fellowmen as Chinese. They hope I can be their “friend” after my release. One of the men called himself Mr. Wang, he left a phone number to me (he jotted down the number on a small paper, and showed me; he said he will leave this paper to detention centre staff, and they will give me after I am released. They didn’t at the end however.). Mr Wang said if I need any help or meet any difficulty, then I can give him a ring. He also hinted, as they are working on Hong Kong affairs for Chinese authorities, lots of colleagues are working and staying in Hong Kong, so it is not hard to “see and meet” me in Hong Kong. It made me think they tried to make me an external source or even spy for Chinese authorities, and it also reminded me of the previous warning made by the secret police that I should “behave myself”, otherwise I may be taken back to Mainland from Hong Kong.
When finished with all the above questionings jointly made by the State Security Bureau and the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office, it was already the midnight and early morning of 24 August. They sent me back to solitary confinement in a call for a several-hour break, then asked me out again. This time was the turn for uniformed police who are the senior managers for this detention centre. They politely invited me into a decent reception room, two senior police officers also sit in front of me, asked me to sit on a soft pad chair, and handed me a script (which the questions and answers were totally designed by them in advance) for filming my “confession” and “testimony” against a well-decorated background. Through this filming they tried to show I was treated humanely in a good condition and environment, which is not true, as they put specific restrictions on my activities, denied contact with family, and put me in solitary confinement. However, they did treat me slightly better than the secret police in general, and the later interrogators had shown slightly gentler manner than the earlier interrogators. I believe the media coverage had changed their attitude.
They filmed several times and picked the best one. They then instructed me to write a letter to “apply for an earlier release”, and the reason is “avoiding the crowds at the port to Hong Kong”. When finished, they almost immediately packed and returned my phone, bag, personal items, clothing, and glasses, I finally had clear vision. They escorted me out of the detention centre at around 5:30 am on 24 August. Around 10 senior ranking police officers and guards saw me off from the centre gate.
Around 7 plainclothes and masked agents (didn’t even wear badges) surrounded two blue Shenzhen electric taxis parked outside that had been waiting for me. They put me into the front taxi, two sat around me, and one next to the driver, while the others got in the second taxi behind. They kept silent the the entire time. After a 30-minute drive, I was delivered to the car park at the Luohu Port, where around 10 other uniformed and plainclothes officers were waiting for me, some of them wore cameras and filmed this process.
They surrounded me and walked me out through the passage of the port, the people who were also on the same way crossing the border looked at me in wonder. The whole scene was of a targeted person in the police spotlight, which made me feel uneasy at that time. They escorted me through special channel and stopped following me on the bridge toward Hong Kong above the Shenzhen River.
I can finally contact my family, close friends, and girlfriend. I took East Railway Train to Kowloon and stayed in a hotel for a few days, as the Chinese secret police had asked for my home and dorm addresses during the questionings and I did not feel safe there. The British[w5] Consulate officials came and visited.
Later that week, my office sent a diplomatic car to take me to the Consulate building, and I did a debrief on my detention to the senior officials. The Embassy security asked me to be cautious if there have suspicious people follow me, esp. those who wear bracelet.[w6]
In regards to the threat made by Chinese secret police that they can “abduct me back to Mainland China in Hong Kong anytime if I don’t behave myself, such as exposing their hidden political motivation and agenda behind my detention to anyone”, I was granted a several-month paid leave by the Consulate and I have fled to a third place and foreign country for security reasons.”
Before leaving Hong Kong, I had to cancel my missing person case with Hong Kong police. Two junior and one senior Hong Kong police officers handled my case. One of the juniors has called me since Day 1 after my release and has kept asking me to cancel the case once I feel comfortable. They acted in a compassionate and kind manner, mentioned I was advised to do the cancellation in a private and secure place for better privacy in order to avoid press and public attention. They sent a private van to meet me in front of the Yaumati Catholic Primary School. When I went there by taxi, I saw one suspicious man who was wearing a bracelet standing and looking around, and his van was parked right behind the police’s private van. Those three Hong Kong police officers got down and showed their badges to me. I told them I felt unsafe so refused to get into their car and took a taxi to Yau Ma Tei Police Station myself. Hong Kong police replied that they understood my concern and they agreed to meet me in the police station soon. When I got out of the taxi in front of the main gate of the police station, I also saw another suspicious man who was also wearing a bracelet and was leaning against the wall looking at his mobile phone. There are not many stores, facilities and residences near the front of police station. I suspect these two suspicious men were Chinese undercover agents who tried tracking and monitoring me, a clear warning that I should not say anything to the Hong Kong police about my detention in Mainland China so they do not record it on Hong Kong official papers and police statements.
Inside the police station, I met the trio handling my case. They invited me into a questioning room (which is absolutely more humane and better than Mainland, no “tiger chair” and “cell” in the room at least). They asked me what happened and what had I gone through since I disappeared, “sorry but I can’t tell” I replied. The senior police officer elaborated more: “may I know if you don’t want to tell, or you can’t tell?” I confirmed that “It is - I can’t”. They nodded and showed understanding, then they filled out the paperwork and finally cancelled my missing person case. They maintained a polite and respectful manner.
After cancelling my missing person case in Hong Kong, I fled from Hong Kong to the third place, and started negotiation on the solution and severance package with the UK Government. I was asked to resign on November 2019 and which ended my roughly 2-year service and employment.
I am seeking asylum by getting right of abode and landing work and study opportunities. However, I cannot do much without concrete support. I am now vulnerable after seeing no concrete support and protection at the moment. I shall try and make a living myself and try to seek help from civil society - I sincerely hope the civil society can assist me in returning to normal life and re-entering the labour market, as now my future is still uncertain and insecure.
I won’t give up the fight for human rights, peace, freedom and democracy for the rest of my life, no matter the danger, discrimination and retaliation I will face, and no matter how my reputation will be stained, and no matter whether my future would be blacklisted, labelled, and ruined.
Simon Cheng

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