More than 100 Pakistani lawyers have held a memorial service for Osama bin Laden, following reports of his death at the hands of US troops on Monday, May 2.
The website Allvoices.com reported that on Wednesday (4 May) the Islamic lawyer forum group held the service in front of the High Court in Peshawar in the Khyber Pass region of Pakistan. The service, conducted in the early afternoon, attracted a strong police presence.
On the same day as the Peshawar service, around 70 lawyers staged a protest against the killing of the al-Qaeda leader 150 kilometres to the east in Abbottabad.
The lawyers chanted slogans such as "Go, America go" and "Osama bin Laden is our hero", reported Allvoices.com.
The extra-judicial killing of bin Laden has polarised the global legal community.
US Attorney-General Eric Holder told a Senate Judiciary Committee during the week that the killing was lawful and an act of national self-defence.
"Bin Laden was the head of al-Qaeda, an organisation that had conducted the attacks of September 11th," he told the commission. "It's lawful to target an enemy commander in the field."
Australian human rights lawyer Geoffrey Robertson QC has called the killing "a perversion of justice", saying that bin Laden should have been captured and brought to trial.
"This man has been subject to summary execution, and what is now appearing after a good deal of disinformation from the White House is it may well have been a cold-blooded assassination," he told the ABC.
In addition to the legal and moral arguments about whether bin Laden's killing was justified, a legal challenge has erupted over whether photos of a dead bin Laden should be made public.
US President Barack Obama has refused to publish the photos at this stage, maintaining that they are "gruesome" and could be used for propaganda purposes against the United States.
Associated Press has lodged a request under Freedom of Information laws to see the photos. The US government has 20 days to formally respond to the request.
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