Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Hong Kong leader apologises after mosque sprayed blue with water cannon during protests

Hong Kong's leader has been forced to apologise after part of a mosque was sprayed blue by authorities during ongoing protests.

Riot police operating a water cannon, which uses dyed water to help identify protesters, were filmed spraying people outside the Kowloon mosque on Sunday.

Subsequently, the place of worship's gate and steps were coated in the blue water which temporarily taints objects it settles on.

Protesters can be seen sheltering in a bus stop to prevent themselves being coated in the blue water.

Video shot later in the day shows Hong Kongers using cloths to clean down the mosque property which had been sprayed by the water cannon.

On Monday, the semi-autonomous region's leader, Carrie Lam, visited the mosque to meet with the chief imam and members of the Islamic Community Fund of Hong Kong.

Upon leaving the mosque, protesters reportedly chanted: "Five demands and not one less" and "Shame on Carrie Lam".

Ms Lam left without making a public comment.

A sorrowful Carrie Lam is pictured leaving Kowloon Mosque after apologising to leaders. Credit: AP

Police later responded to the incident with an apology during a press conference.

"To any people or any groups that were affected, we offer our genuine apologies," said Cheuk Hau-yip, the Hong Kong Police's Kowloon West commander.

Speaking after the meeting with Lam, Saeed Uddin, honorary secretary of the Islamic Community Fund of Hong Kong said: "Our mosque is not damaged, nothing is done wrong.

"Only thing is that they should have not done it.

"For that they apologised so we accept it."

Ms Lam's visit and subsequent apology follows the 20th consecutive weekend of protests in Hong Kong, where people are demonstrating in a effort to halt mainland China's tightening grip on the region.

The movement sprang out of opposition to a government proposal for a China extradition Bill and then ballooned into broader demands for full democracy and an inquiry into alleged police brutality.

Police said they arrested 68 people over the weekend.

They accused the protesters of being "rioters," and said they hurled more than 100 firebombs and damaged more than 100 sets of traffic lights.

Conversely, protesters accused police of using heavy-handed tactics and lacking accountability.