7 Hong Kong policemen jailed two years for kicking and punching Occupy Central activist

Five of the seven police officers (from left to right) Chief Inspector Wong Cho-sing, Police Constable Chan Siu-tan, Police Constable Kwan Ka-ho, Sergeant Pak Wing-bun and Senior Inspector Lau Cheuk-ngai, charged in connection with the beating of a p
Five of the seven police officers (from left to right) Chief Inspector Wong Cho-sing, Police Constable Chan Siu-tan, Police Constable Kwan Ka-ho, Sergeant Pak Wing-bun and Senior Inspector Lau Cheuk-ngai, charged in connection with the beating of a protester during Occupy Central pro-democracy demonstrations, arrive at a court in Hong Kong, China, on Feb 14, 2017. PHOTO: REUTERS

HONG KONG - Seven policemen were jailed two years on Friday (Feb 17) for kicking and punching an activist more than two years ago after he was arrested during a protest

The men were found guilty on Tuesday when  District court judge David Dufton said they were “guilty of assault occasioning actual bodily harm”.  But they were found not guilty of the more serious charge of causing grievous bodily harm.  

The trial centred on an incident on Oct 15, 2014, at the height of the Occupy Central protests in Hong Kong by people calling for pro-democracy reforms.

The seven police officers were filmed dragging a protester, Mr Ken Tsang, to a dark corner where he was kicked and punched, Reuters reported. The officers were later suspended from duty.

Mr Tsang, a social worker, suffered face, neck and shoulder injuries. He was handcuffed with plastic zip ties at the time, though the court heard he had earlier thrown some liquid at the police.

The 79 days of student-led protests paralysed parts of Hong Kong and posed one of the greatest challenges to the central government in Beijing in decades.

But Beijing gave no grounds on demands for greater democracy and resentment among some residents of the city, which enjoys a significant degree of autonomy, has simmered ever since.