Denmark - Condemnation for plot to kill cartoonist who drew Mohammed



    MONTREAL, Feb. 14 /CNW Telbec/ - Reporters Without Borders strongly
condemns a plot to kill cartoonist Kurt Westergaard, who drew the most
controversial of the caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed that were published
in the daily Jyllands-Posten in September 2005. Members of the Danish police
intelligence service arrested three suspected participants in the plot on the
night of 11 February.
    "It is unacceptable that a cartoonist should threatened in this manner in
Denmark, one of the countries that most respects free expression," Reporters
Without Borders secretary-general Robert Ménard said. "He has been forced to
hide and accept police protection simply because he drew cartoons that
displeased some people. Westergaard lives in a country where religion is
private matter. Under this tradition, religious freedom is on a par with
freedom of expression, which includes the right to make fun of beliefs one
does not share."
    The murder plot has been widely condemned in Danish political circles and
by the country's news media. Several newspapers in Denmark and other European
countries yesterday reprinted the controversial cartoons in a gesture of
solidarity and to reaffirm their commitment to free expression and opposition
to all forms of fanaticism.
    Reporters Without Borders stresses that the press is independent of the
government in Denmark, as it is in all European countries. The views and
editorial decisions of the news media are their own and no one else's. They do
not speak for their government or fellow citizens.
    The press freedom organisation urges the Danish authorities to purse the
investigation in order to identify all those behind the murder plot. It also
voices its support for the calls for dialogue issued by the media and Muslim
community in Denmark.




For further information:

For further information: Katherine Borlongan, Secretary General,
Reporters Without Borders, (514) 521-4111, Cell: (514) 258-4208, Fax: (514)
521-7771, rsfcanada@rsf.org

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