Occupy protester Ken Tsang – the man filmed being beaten up by seven policemen – described the jailing of his attackers by the District Court on Friday as a “small victory” for Hong Kong’s civil society after a more than two years wait.
He hoped other police assault charges will also see justice done, for example the alleged assault by the then-superintendent Franklin Chu who used his baton to hit a passer-by in 2014.
"I hope the government and the police will reflect on reforming the monitoring system of the force," Tsang said. "They owe Hong Kong citizens an apology."
Meanwhile, a spokesman for the Hong Kong Civil Rights Observer, Icarus Wong, welcomed the court’s decision. He said the two-year sentence reflected the severity of the offence.
"The decision by the court has sent a very clear message to all law enforcement officers that they must not abuse their power," he said.
However, a pro-police protester outside the District Court, Politihk Social Strategic's chairman Tang Tak-sing, said he was very disappointed with the sentence.
He also questioned why the judge accepted the footage shot by TVB news camera crew as solid evidence, when it appeared dim and dark.
Two hundred people have already signed up for a demonstration on Saturday against the ruling and to show support for the jailed policemen, Tang said.
They will gather first at Chater Garden in Central and march to the police headquarters and government headquarters.