Lam apologizes to Hong Kong Muslims
Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam on Monday met with imams at the Kowloon Mosque to apologize, after police hit the place of worship with a water cannon as they battled protesters during another day of political unrest.
Michelle Hennessy reports.
Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam apologized to Islamic leaders on Monday (October 21), after police hit a local mosque with dyed water cannon during weekend clashes with protesters.
The cannon drenched the front gate of the Kowloon Mosque: Hong Kong's most important Islamic place of worship.
Masked protesters were seen hosing down the steps and wiping down its railings, shortly after it was sprayed.
Police said the mosque had been targeted accidentally, and also apologized on Monday.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) POLICE SPOKESPERSON, SAYING: "There were violence there, there were petrol bombs, there were the barricades, there were things and the officers were doing a disperse operation and the mission was to protect the mosque as well, clear cut.
And they did not want the people to gather outside the mosque.
And the fact that, the officers may not immediately recognize who is the trouble maker, who is not - that's a fact." After two weeks of relative calm, Sunday's (October 20) protest shows that the movement has not lost support.
That's despite, according to one activist, the government refusing to authorize peaceful protests.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) PRO-DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENT ACTIVIST, AVERY NG, SAYING: "Don't think that the movement is slowing down.
In fact, it is growing stronger and stronger.
And if you pan your camera around, every single one of the protesters today standing here today, are literally breaking the law." Protesters erected flaming barricades on Nathan Road, a major Kowloon retail strip and threw petrol bombs at a nearby police station.
The police responded with tear gas, some of the heaviest use of water cannon the protests have seen and by driving through barricades.
The protests come after Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam's annual policy address last Wednesday (October 16) which failed to address protesters' demands.