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Hong Kong court imposes seven prison sentences

Men wearing white t-shirts with sticks were seen in Yuen Long after attack on protesters

A Hong Kong court sentenced seven men to jail after they were found guilty of violently attacking pro-democracy protesters and commuters at a train station in 2019.

The men were sentenced to three and a half to seven years in prison.

The attack on Yuen Long, which was captured by victims and bystanders on cell phones, left the city in shock.

Police were accused of arriving late at the scene and doing little to stop the violence, charges they denied.

They were also accused of colluding with the attackers, some of whom had ties to the triad.

However, these denials did little to stop growing distrust of the police at a time when Hong Kong faced numerous anti-government protests.

Pictures inside Yuen Long, which went viral on social media, showed groups of men, suspected of being triad gangsters, dressed in white shirts and beating passengers with sticks, rods metal and bats.

Tens of thousands of people took to the streets in the days that followed to protest the violence.

The seven-year prison sentence for one of the convicted men is the highest sentence the district court can impose.

The judge was insulted by supporters of the men, with some calling him a “canine judge” as he walked outside the court, AFP reported.

Earlier, during the hearing of attorneys’ mitigating pleas, the judge said the “indiscriminate assault” should be “severely” punished.

One of the convicts apologized to his victims and said he acted impulsively.

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