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Source: Hong Kong Information Services

Police respect religious freedom in Hong Kong and strive to protect all places of worship.

Police Kowloon West Regional Commander Cheuk Hau-yip made the remarks today at a press conference, where he explained how the Kowloon Mosque’s entrance and gate were inadvertently sprayed with coloured water during a police operation.

He said due to rioting acts in the district yesterday, frontline officers had to use appropriate force to restore public order, adding that a specialised crowd management vehicle was deployed to disperse rioters gathered on Nathan Road.

“As the vehicle approached Nathan Road outside the Kowloon Mosque, coloured water was used for dispersal. During the process, the coloured water inadvertently affected the entrance and front gate of the Kowloon Mosque.”

Mr Cheuk said immediately after the incident, Police apologised to the Chief Imam and Muslim community leaders.

He added that later in the evening, the Yau Tsim District Commander and Police Public Relations Branch officers met the imams in the mosque to express their concern over the matter.

“We are deeply concerned about this incident, so the Chief Executive and Commissioner of Police visited the Kowloon Mosque to meet with the Chief Imam and Muslim community leaders this morning.”

Mr Cheuk reiterated that Police have all along maintained a good relationship with the Kowloon Mosque and the Muslim community in Hong Kong.

“We are also aware that our use of a specialised crowd management vehicle in Tsim Sha Tsui has affected another place of worship on Nathan Road.

“We certainly respect religious freedom in Hong Kong and will strive to protect all places of worship.

“As the head of the Kowloon West Region, I would like to reiterate that we certainly do not have any malicious intent. We endeavour to protect the community and once again express our sincere apology.”

MIL OSI Asia Pacific News