Seven Hong Kong government supporters who took part in a violent assault on anti-government activists and commuters were jailed Thursday for what the trial judge described as an “indiscriminate attack”.
The jailings came exactly two years after a gang of men dressed in white shirts and carrying sticks descended on people returning at night from a rally in the town of Yuen Long.
On Thursday, seven men were given terms of between three years and nine months to seven years in jail following their conviction for rioting.
Judge Eddie Yip said the gang of attackers had “collectively lost their minds” and heavy sentences were required because of the violence used and its impact on the community.
“They collectively took the law into their own hands and put residents in extreme terror,” he said.
After the sentences were read out, some supporters of the defendants shouted insults at Yip, including calling him “dog judge”.
One man holding a Chinese flag repeatedly shouted “dog judge” as he walked outside the courtroom.
During the Yuen Long attack more than a hundred men pounced on protesters as well as reporters and ordinary commuters, sending some 50 people to hospital.
Much of the attack was broadcast online by journalists and victims. Police later confirmed some of those involved had links to triad organised crime gangs.
The ambush prompted generated additional controversy after police officers were photographed talking to men in white wielding sticks and letting them leave the scene.
Hong Kong police have consistently denied any wrongdoing and allegations of collusion. It says its officers were too busy handling violent rallies across the city.