Police deploy 875 officers to safeguard film and cartoon protest
Police have deployed 875 personnel to safeguard a protest carried out by 100 members of the Association of Islamic Students (HMI) in front of the US Embassy on Friday, Jakarta Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Rikwanto said.
He said the personnel included officers from the city police, Central Jakarta Police and riot police to anticipate clashes.
Rikwanto said that all people in the area within 500 meters to one kilometer of the embassy would be inspected to prevent protesters from bringing dangerous materials such as rocks, slingshots, or Molotov cocktails.
"The inspection is to comply with our procedure on rally safeguarding and to prevent incidents similar to those that occurred during Monday’s riot," Rikwanto said.
A protest over the film Innocence of Muslims on Monday in front of the US Embassy, organized by several mass organizations, including the Islamic Society Forum (FUI) and the Islam Defenders Front (FPI), turned violent when protesters started throwing stones at the police deployed to safeguard the embassy.
Police detained five out of 1,000 protesters, as they were found in possession of Molotov cocktails and slingshots with marbles as ammunition. All detainees have been released.
Rikwanto said that protesters staged a rally urging the US government to penalize the maker of the controversial film, Sam Bacile, an Israeli-Jew living in California. He also said that additional protests were planned against the French magazine that published contentious caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad on Wednesday.
"According to the notification sent to us, they will [HMI] also protest the publication of a cartoon depicting Prophet Muhammad in France," he told reporters. "However, we have yet to receive any information about the rally and if it will be held in front of the French Embassy. (aml/iwa)
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