Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

January 21, 2008

Newspaper Editor Jailed in Belarus for Publication of the Danish Cartoons

Aleksandr Sdvishkov, who as editor of the now-closed Zgoda weekly newspaper in Belarus reprinted the Danish Muhammed cartoons in February 2006, was sentenced in Minsk City Court on Friday to three years in a high-security prison for "incitement of religious hatred." Compounding the horror with which the decision was greeted by journalists and press advocates worldwide is that Sdvishkov wasn't indicted until November 18 of 2007 when he returned (after fleeing the initial investigation) to Belarus to attend his father's funeral, and his trial, which began a week earlier, was held behind closed doors. The decision was also condemned by a former Zgoda editor who now edits a successor newspaper Novy Chas, who noted that the defunct newspaper's staff apologized to the country's Muslim community soon after the cartoons were reprinted and the staff thought that the matter was closed.
posted 9:15 am PST | Permalink

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