Skip to main content

A supporter holds a poster outside of the British Consulate in Hong Kong during a rally in support of an employee of the consulate who was detained while returning from a trip to China, Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2019.

Vincent Yu/The Associated Press

Chinese police said Saturday an employee at the British Consulate in Hong Kong who was detained on the mainland has been released.

Public security authorities in Shenzhen said Simon Cheng Man-kit was released as scheduled after 15 days of administrative detention.

The Luohu public security bureau in Shenzhen, the mainland city neighbouring Hong Kong, made the announcement on its Weibo microblog account.

Story continues below advertisement

Cheng was detained for violating mainland Chinese law and “confessed to his illegal acts,” the statement said, without providing further details.

A Hong Kong police officer, speaking on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to discuss the case, confirmed that Cheng had returned to the city, but did not provided further details.

“Simon is released. Simon is safe,” said Max Chung, organizer of a rally earlier this week to urge the British government to step up efforts to free Cheng. “We’ve just managed to talk to him over the phone,” he said, adding that Cheng would answer any further questions but did not say when.

Cheng’s detention stoked tensions in semi-autonomous Hong Kong, which has been rocked by months of antigovernment protests. Cheng, a Scottish government trade and investment officer, was hired locally and did not have a diplomatic passport. He was detained after he left for a business trip on the mainland at a Hong Kong high-speed train station.

The Chinese government has said he was detained for violating public order regulations. The Global Times, a Communist Party-owned nationalistic tabloid, said Thursday he was detained for “soliciting prostitutes.” China often uses public order charges against political targets and has sometimes used the charge of soliciting prostitution.

The British Consulate did not respond to a request for comment.

Related topics

Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Cannabis pro newsletter
To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies