Hong Kong leader apologizes for mosque water cannon incident after day of violence

Hong Kong leader apologizes for mosque water cannon incident after

Hong Kong leader apologizes for mosque water cannon incident after day of violence

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam apologized on Monday after police hit a major mosque with water canon as they battled protesters during another day of political unrest in the Asian financial hub.

An anti-government demonstrator throws back a tear gas canister during a protest march in Hong Kong, China, October 20, 2019. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

Lam visited the mosque before she was due to head to Japan to attend Emperor Naruhito’s enthronement ceremony in Tokyo, and as the city cleaned up the mess from violent protests the night before, the latest in five months of political turmoil.

In Sunday’s clashes, police used water cannon trucks to disperse protesters, spraying jets of blue dye into the crowds.

In one instance, a cannon drenched the front gate and steps of the Kowloon mosque, Hong Kong’s most important Islamic place of worship where a few people had gathered including journalists. Blue stains remained on the road in front as worshippers gathered for prayers on Monday.

Lam visited the mosque on Monday morning dressed in a shawl, and apologized to Islamic leaders, according to a spokesman.

Chief Imam Muhammad Arshad said the apology was “accepted” and that the Islamic community hoped to continue living in Hong Kong in peace.

The police said in a statement the mosque had been accidentally sprayed and that they “respect religious freedom and will strive to protect all places of worship.”

Elsewhere across the Kowloon peninsula protesters had torched stores and sprayed graffiti on roads as they skirmished with police.

After two weeks of relative calm, Sunday’s large turnout of tens of thousands reflected strong support for the anti-government movement despite police branding the march illegal.

Families and the elderly took to the streets in what began as a peaceful march, many wearing masks or carrying umbrellas to shield their faces in defiance of an anti-mask law that authorities invoked this month to try to quell the unrest.

A more radical faction of mainly young protesters later clashed with riot police.

They targeted banks and other businesses perceived to be linked to China, damaging some store fronts and setting fires on the prime shopping and commercial street of Nathan Road in the heart of the Kowloon peninsula.

Protesters are demanding universal suffrage, an independent inquiry into alleged police brutality, amnesty for those charged over previous demonstrations, and an end to the government’s labeling of the protesters as rioters.

Since the protests escalated in June, over 2,600 people have been arrested, many under 18 years of age, while two people have been shot and many more injured.

Many Hong Kongers are angry at what they see as mainland China’s attempts to limit the freedoms the semi-autonomous city is supposed to enjoy under the “one country, two systems” principle enshrined in its handover from Britain in 1997.

Sunday’s unrest followed an annual policy speech last week in which Beijing-backed Lam sought to ease tensions with measures to resolve a chronic housing shortage.

She also has promised to withdraw a China extradition bill that ignited the unrest and engage in a dialogue with the public, but has so far resisted other protester demands.

The protests pose the biggest popular challenge to Chinese President Xi Jinping since he took power. Beijing has denied eroding Hong Kong’s freedoms and Xi has vowed to crush any attempt to split China.

As the economy faces its first recession in a decade, Hong Kong Financial Secretary Paul Chan on Sunday offered more support for small and medium-sized enterprises which have borne the brunt of the chaos.

“We are studying the launch of the third round of relief measures,” he wrote on his blog.

Businesses will probably have to foot the bill for the vandalism, as few had insurance for riot damage, industry insiders said.

Protesters are planning a demonstration at a shopping mall in the northern Yuen Long district from 7 p.m. on Monday to mark three months since activists were attacked by a mob in the area.

Slideshow (7 Images)

More than 100 men stormed Yuen Long station on the night of July 21 and attacked democracy protesters, passersby and journalists.

Metro operator MTR Corp said it would shut Yuen Long station by 2 p.m. ahead of the planned protest.

Several subway entrances and exits would also be shut, and the entire network would close by 10 p.m., or two hours early, to allow time for the repair of facilities, the operator said.

Reporting by Sarah Wu and Twinnie Siu; Writing by Farah Master and Michael Perry; Editing by Stephen Coates

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
Hong Kong leader apologizes for mosque water cannon incident after day of violence

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam apologized on Monday after police hit a serious mosque with water canon as they battled protesters throughout one other day of political unrest within the Asian monetary hub.

An anti-government demonstrator throws again a tear gasoline canister throughout a protest march in Hong Kong, China, October 20, 2019. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

Lam visited the mosque earlier than she was as a result of head to Japan to attend Emperor Naruhito’s enthronement ceremony in Tokyo, and because the metropolis cleaned up the mess from violent protests the evening earlier than, the most recent in 5 months of political turmoil.

In Sunday’s clashes, police used water cannon vans to disperse protesters, spraying jets of blue dye into the crowds.

In a single occasion, a cannon drenched the entrance gate and steps of the Kowloon mosque, Hong Kong’s most necessary Islamic place of worship the place a number of individuals had gathered together with journalists. Blue stains remained on the street in entrance as worshippers gathered for prayers on Monday.

Lam visited the mosque on Monday morning wearing a scarf, and apologized to Islamic leaders, in keeping with a spokesman.

Chief Imam Muhammad Arshad stated the apology was “accepted” and that the Islamic group hoped to proceed dwelling in Hong Kong in peace.

The police stated in a press release the mosque had been by chance sprayed and that they “respect spiritual freedom and can attempt to guard all locations of worship.”

Elsewhere throughout the Kowloon peninsula protesters had torched shops and sprayed graffiti on roads as they skirmished with police.

After two weeks of relative calm, Sunday’s giant turnout of tens of hundreds mirrored sturdy assist for the anti-government motion regardless of police branding the march unlawful.

Households and the aged took to the streets in what started as a peaceable march, many carrying masks or carrying umbrellas to defend their faces in defiance of an anti-mask regulation that authorities invoked this month to attempt to quell the unrest.

A extra radical faction of primarily younger protesters later clashed with riot police.

They focused banks and different companies perceived to be linked to China, damaging some retailer fronts and setting fires on the prime procuring and industrial avenue of Nathan Street within the coronary heart of the Kowloon peninsula.

Protesters are demanding common suffrage, an unbiased inquiry into alleged police brutality, amnesty for these charged over earlier demonstrations, and an finish to the federal government’s labeling of the protesters as rioters.

Because the protests escalated in June, over 2,600 individuals have been arrested, many beneath 18 years of age, whereas two individuals have been shot and plenty of extra injured.

Many Hong Kongers are offended at what they see as mainland China’s makes an attempt to restrict the freedoms the semi-autonomous metropolis is meant to get pleasure from beneath the “one nation, two methods” precept enshrined in its handover from Britain in 1997.

Sunday’s unrest adopted an annual coverage speech final week during which Beijing-backed Lam sought to ease tensions with measures to resolve a power housing scarcity.

She additionally has promised to withdraw a China extradition invoice that ignited the unrest and have interaction in a dialogue with the general public, however has up to now resisted different protester calls for.

The protests pose the largest fashionable problem to Chinese language President Xi Jinping since he took energy. Beijing has denied eroding Hong Kong’s freedoms and Xi has vowed to crush any try to separate China.

Because the economic system faces its first recession in a decade, Hong Kong Monetary Secretary Paul Chan on Sunday provided extra assist for small and medium-sized enterprises which have borne the brunt of the chaos.

“We’re finding out the launch of the third spherical of aid measures,” he wrote on his weblog.

Companies will in all probability must foot the invoice for the vandalism, as few had insurance coverage for riot injury, business insiders stated.

Protesters are planning an illustration at a shopping center within the northern Yuen Lengthy district from 7 p.m. on Monday to mark three months since activists have been attacked by a mob within the space.

Slideshow (7 Photos)

Greater than 100 males stormed Yuen Lengthy station on the evening of July 21 and attacked democracy protesters, passersby and journalists.

Metro operator MTR Corp stated it will shut Yuen Lengthy station by 2 p.m. forward of the deliberate protest.

A number of subway entrances and exits would even be shut, and all the community would shut by 10 p.m., or two hours early, to permit time for the restore of services, the operator stated.

Reporting by Sarah Wu and Twinnie Siu; Writing by Farah Grasp and Michael Perry; Modifying by Stephen Coates

Our Requirements:The Thomson Reuters Belief Rules.
Facts Source: http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/topNews/~3/JPvFopkazE0/hong-kong-leader-apologizes-for-mosque-water-cannon-incident-after-day-of-violence-idUSKBN1X004X

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