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UK consulate staffer returns to Hong Kong after China detention: Family

An activist holds an illustration of Simon Cheng during a gathering outside the British Consulate-General building in Hong Kong. Photograph:( AFP )

WION Web Team Beijing Aug 24, 2019, 08.44 AM (IST)

UK consulate staffer Simon Cheng, who disappeared after visiting the city of Shenzhen, returned to Hong Kong after China detention, news agency AFP reported quoting members of his family.

Cheng disappeared after visiting the city of Shenzhen from the semi-autonomous city on August 8, and the Foreign Office in London said both British officials and relatives have been unable to speak to him since.

The Global Times, a tabloid state-run newspaper, said he had been detained for "soliciting prostitutes", citing police in Shenzhen, which lies on the China-Hong Kong border.

But a Facebook page run by Cheng's family dismissed the report.

"This is a made-up crime of soliciting prostitution, everyone should see it's a joke," the comment said.

Beijing on Wednesday confirmed that an employee of the British consulate had been "placed in administrative detention for 15 days as punishment" by police in Shenzhen for breaking a public security law.

The foreign ministry said he was "a Hong Kong citizen, he's not a UK citizen, which is also saying he's a Chinese person".

(With inputs from AFP)

Story highlights

Cheng disappeared after visiting the city of Shenzhen from the semi-autonomous city on August 8, and the Foreign Office in London said both British officials and relatives have been unable to speak to him since.