Religious services at CIC

Gigi Lo made this Freedom of Information request to Immigration Department

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The request was partially successful.

Dear Immigration Department,

I am writing to make an information access request regarding religious services provided in Castle Peak Bay Immigration Centre. May I know,

A) What religious services are provided? (ie. Nature of the service, religions that are served)

B) Who provides the religious services?

C) How often is each respective service provided?

D) Are external religious volunteers (such as volunteer chaplains) allowed to provide services for detainees?

E) Are there religious facilities (ex. Prayer room) available? If so, what facilities are available?

Thank you for your help with this inquiry.

Yours faithfully,

Gigi Lo

Immigration Department

Our Reference: L/M (2) in ImmD CIC/6-5/10 (R) Pt.4

Dear Gigi Lo,

Our department has received your application for access to information on
22.12.2021. Your application is now under processing. According to
paragraph 1.16 of the Code on Access to Information, our department will
inform you of the latest progress of the case separately on or before
11.01.2022.

If you have any enquiry, please contact the undersigned via this email.

Best Regards,

CHEUNG Kai-ho
for Director of Immigration

Immigration Department

Our Reference: L/M (2) in ImmD CIC/6-5/10 (R) Pt.4

Dear Gigi Lo,
I refer to your request for access to information on 22 December 2021 and
our interim reply to you on 31 December 2021.  I hereby provide you the
following information.

Religious services are provided to detainees at the Castle Peak Bay
Immigration Centre ("CIC").  At present, regular religious services
including visits, teaching, counselling and religious worship conducted by
some non-governmental organisations at the CIC are offered to all
detainees who wish to participate regardless of their religious
affiliation.

I hope the information is useful to you.

Best Regards,

CHEUNG Kai-ho
for Director of Immigration

Dear Immigration Department,

Thank you very much for your reply. I would like to ask a couple follow up questions.

A) Are external religious volunteers required to register for certifications or licenses to enter the institution?
B) As the religious services are conducted by non-governmental organisations, would religious services be affected when the city experiences an increase in COVID-19 cases?
C) Approximately how often are the religious services conducted (ex. once a month, biweekly, once a week)?
D) Where are the religious services conducted? Are there religious facilities (ex. Prayer room) in CIC?

Thank you for your help with this inquiry.

Yours faithfully,

Gigi Lo

Immigration Department

Our Reference: L/M (2) in ImmD CIC/6-5/10 (R) Pt.4

Dear Gigi Lo,

Our department has received your follow-up application for access to
information on 13.01.2022. Your application is now under processing.
According to paragraph 1.16 of the Code on Access to Information, our
department will inform you of the latest progress of the case separately
on or before 02.02.2022.

If you have any enquiry, please contact the undersigned via this email.

Best Regards,

CHEUNG Kai-ho
for Director of Immigration

Immigration Department

Our Reference: L/M (2) in ImmD CIC/6-5/10 (R) Pt.4

Dear Gigi Lo,

Further to the interim reply on 25.01.2022, I am writing to inform you
that your application for Access to Information is still under processing,
as more time is required to gather and consolidate the information
requested in your application (if any). According to paragraph 1.18 of the
Code on Access to Information, our department will inform you of the
latest progress of the case separately on or before 04.03.2022.

If you have any enquiry, please contact the undersigned via this email.

Best Regards,

CHEUNG Kai-ho
for Director of Immigration

Immigration Department

Our Reference: L/M (2) in ImmD CIC/6-5/10 (R) Pt.4

Dear Gigi Lo,
I refer to your request for access to information on 13 January 2022 and
our interim replies to you on 25 and 31 January 2022.  I hereby provide
you with the following information.

The non-governmental organisations ("NGOs") may make an application for
providing religious services for detainees at the Castle Peak Bay
Immigration Centre ("CIC"). An application for visits of detainees by NGOs
will be considered on individual merits.

When submitting an application, NGOs may state their proposed frequencies
of visits for our consideration. Some NGOs provide religious services for
detainees at the CIC once a week or once a month. The religious services
are conducted in specified and appropriate areas at the CIC with due
consideration to the safety of detainees and the security of the CIC.
There is no prayer room at the CIC.

Taking into account the development of the COVID-19 situation, preventive
measures published by the HKSAR Government have been observed and
implemented at the CIC. The visits made by NGOs have been temporarily
suspended since 7 January 2022. The CIC will continue to review the health
measures and operations to better deal with the impact on visiting
arrangement under the COVID-19 pandemic.

I hope the information is useful to you.

Best Regards,

CHEUNG Kai-ho
for Director of Immigration