Pakistani lawyers rallied against anti-Islam film at diplomatic enclave
ISLAMABAD: Up to 500 Pakistani lawyers managed to break through a gate to Islamabad’s heavily-guarded diplomatic enclave on Wednesday in a fresh protest to denounce an American-made anti-Islam film.
Wearing headbands inscribed with “Lovers of Prophet, Death to the blasphemer, America’s friends are traitors”, the protesters chanted slogans including “We are ready to sacrifice our lives to safeguard honour of the prophet”.
More than 200 riot police armed with batons and shields stood guard as the lawyers broke through the first of two gates leading to the enclave, which contains most Western embassies in the Pakistani capital.
The lawyers halted at the second gate, where their leaders delivered fiery speeches against the US, urging the Pakistan government to expel the American Ambassador and break its “criminal silence” over the “Innocence of Muslims” film.
“The government should stop the policy of appeasing the US,” they said, castigating the country’s rulers for not officially registering their protest with the US.
A US flag was laid on the ground and the protesting lawyers walked over it one by one. Later they burnt the flag before the rally ended peacefully.
More than 30 people have been killed in a week of attacks and violent protests linked to the controversial film, deemed insulting to the Prophet Mohammed.
Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan have all blocked access to YouTube, following the video-sharing website’s failure to take down the film.