Carrie Lam, police chief apologize to Kowloon Mosque over water cannon incident

Local | 21 Oct 2019 3:48 pm

Chief executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor and police commissioner Stephen Lo Wai-chung visited the Kowloon Mosque in Tsim Sha Tsui this morning and apologized after a police water-cannon sprayed blue-dyed water at the entrance and gates during protests yesterday.

A statement issued by the Chief Executive office said Lam and Lo met the mosque representatives over the “unintentional use of dyed water” and offered apologies.

After the brief talks, chief imam Muhammad Arshad and fellow Muslim leaders Zoheir Tyebkhan and Saeed Uddin said the pair had both apologized for the incident and had described it as a mistake.

Lam and Lo had also conceded that there was hardly anyone in the area at the time and there was no reason for the water cannon to be fired, according to the mosque officials. Tyebkhan said they had accepted the apologies offered.

In a statement in the early hours, police said the incident was an accident and that they had immediately clarified the situation.

"Police have all along maintained a good relationship with the Kowloon Mosque and the Muslim community in Hong Kong. Police respect religious freedom and will strive to protect all places of worship."

The Muslim Council of Hong Kong called for seeking calmness over revenge, wisdom over emotions and unity over division.

It said on its Facebook page that a few police officers messaged Muslim brothers apologizing for the unintended spray, saying that the mosque was not the target and it was unfortunate what unfolded.

The Council also said it was truly heart-warming after local Hong Kong people helped out in cleaning the blue spray from the mosque's gates. -The Standard / RTHK

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