Saturday, July 22, 2006

Indonesian Newspaper Editor Charged With Publishing Mohammed Cartoons

From the International Herald-Tribune, a story you thought had died down, continues to have aftershocks.
JAKARTA An Indonesian newspaper editor will stand trial on charges he offended Islam by publishing a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad last year, his lawyer said Friday.

Teguh Santosa, chief editor of Rakyat Merdeka’s online edition, was freed from a Jakarta prison Thursday night after being held for 24 hours by the prosecutor’s office, the police said.

Santosa said he had published the cartoon to illustrate a story on the controversy surrounding the drawings, which first appeared in a Danish newspaper. He took the image off the Web site in less than a day after people complained.

“We just wanted to let people know about the cartoons, which were being strongly protested at that time,” Santosa said. “I believe I am innocent and ready to face trial.” Santosa faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison if found guilty, said his lawyer, Syahroni, who goes by a single name.

Cartoons satirizing Islam were published in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten in September, and were reprinted by dozens of newspapers, often in the name of freedom of expression. They caused angry protests across the Islamic world.


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