Four Hong Kong men were convicted of rioting Thursday over the storming and ransacking of the city's legislature in 2019, part of a pro-democracy movement that posed an unprecedented challenge to the Beijing-backed government.

It was the most violent episode in the initial stage of the huge protests that upended the financial hub that year and eventually prompted Beijing to impose a sweeping national security law that snuffed out dissent.

Hundreds of protesters broke into the legislature on the night of July 1, 2019, smashing windows and spraying graffiti on what was the 22nd anniversary of Hong Kong's handover from Britain back to China.