Hong Kong protester jailed for police assault
Hong Kong protester jailed for police assault

Hong Kong (AFP) - A Hong Kong activist who was attacked by seven police officers during mass pro-democracy rallies in 2014 began a prison sentence Tuesday for his own assault on police.

Ken Tsang was found guilty last year of assaulting and resisting officers during the "Umbrella Movement" protests which brought parts of the city to a standstill for more than two months.

Later the same night Tsang was beaten and kicked by a group of officers in a park -- an assault that was captured by local TV cameras and beamed around the world, denting the image of the city's police force.

Seven officers were jailed for two years in February for assault causing actual bodily harm, but acquitted of a more serious charge of grievous bodily harm with intent.

Tsang himself had been sentenced in May last year to five weeks in prison after being found guilty of splashing liquid on police during the street rallies.

He immediately appealed and was bailed, but Tuesday dropped the appeal bid in a case that has dragged on for nearly three years since he was first arrested.

"After today's legal proceedings are over, I will immediately serve my sentence," Tsang, 41, told reporters and around 20 supporters outside the High Court Tuesday.

"I understand that some things I did that night may not be tolerated by the law. I need to take responsibility for my actions," he added, saying that the liquid he splashed on police was water.

Tsang said his decision to give up the appeal was "not a sign of weakness", and he had faced unfairness from the government and police whom he accused of "blurring the line between right and wrong".

"This is the best result we can achieve at this point in time."

Police have been criticised for their sometimes heavy-handed treatment of protesters during the "Umbrella Movement's" mainly peaceful 79 days of rallies and street blockades.

The demonstrators were seeking fully free elections for future leaders of the semi-autonomous Chinese city.

The judge who jailed the seven police officers described their assault as "vicious" and said it had damaged the city's reputation.

But tens of thousands of people gathered to show their support for the jailed officers following their sentencing last month.

AFP

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