Hong Kong – A Court on Friday sentenced to two-year jail terms seven policemen responsible for beating up activist Ken Tsang Kin-chiu during Hong Kong’s 2014 pro-democracy protests, a local newspaper has reported.
“The assault was a vicious assault,” the South China Morning Post reported judge David Dufton saying, as he delivered the verdict.
“Although Tsang broke the law … and the police officers worked under immense stress … there was no justification to beat Tsang.”
The seven men, who were convicted of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, included a police chief inspector, a senior inspector, a detective sergeant and four constables.
Judge Dufton said the matter had “brought dishonour to the police force” and had tarnished the city’s reputation in the eyes of the international community.
Dufton reduced the sentence from two years and six months to two years, taking into account that the officers had lost their jobs and pensions.
Outside the courtroom supporters of the convicted policemen called for an appeal against the decision, while pro-democracy advocates chanted “wise judge,” the South China Morning Post reported.
At the time of the protests in 2014, demonstrators brought traffic in parts of the city to a standstill, setting up tents in the middle of the road to protest Beijing’s controversial electoral reform package.
The package would see candidates for the Chief Executive pre-selected by a pro-Beijing majority committee.
Tsang was convicted of one count of assaulting a police officer and two counts of resisting arrest for pouring water on police.
He was sentenced to five weeks in prison last May, but was released on bail after filing an appeal.