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February 25, 2008

Your Danish Cartoons Hangover Update

* Reuters reports that jailed newspaper editor Alexander Sdvishkov has been freed after Belarus' supreme court reduced his sentence from three years to three months. Sdvishkov, the only journalist sentenced to prison for his role in publishing the Jyllands-Posten Muhammed caricatures, in his case in the now-defunct newspaper Zgoda in 2006. Sdvishkov benefited from two forms of pressure: one, the United States had tagged Sdvishkov and and two others as political prisoners that must be released for the sake of continuing relations between the ex-Soviet State and Western powers; two, the country's Supreme Court has recently released a number of folks believe to be opposition advocates jailed in part or solely for those political views.

* Meanwhile, the recently renewed flash of political and cultural turmoil over the Danish cartoons in this year continues at a modest but still alarming and heartbreaking pace.

* as if in an attempt to cover all the bases from the 2006 Danish Cartoons controversy, one report has multiple Danish web sites being hacked as a result of the Kurt Westergaard's cartoon being republished recently.

* another player from the 2006 political turmoil and riots heard from: Sudan isn't happy with the republication, either. This is the first Indian reaction I've read. And a first from Qatar. Nigeria, you're on the clock.

* like many an American head of household, Pakistan has banished YouTube, for reasons that may or may not include that site's ability to broadcast the Danish cartoons.

* a protest in Bahrain on Saturday.

* the FIOE is on board with criticizing the re-publication.

* I hadn't read that all 12 cartoons were republished by some papers -- I thought in most just the Westergaard bomb-in-turban cartoon was republished -- but that's what this article says, plus they provide a dire-sounding quote from an official of the OIC.

* a sit-in was planned for earlier today by Jordanians.

* this year's Reporters sans frontieres annual report includes updates on a cartoonist discussed in past versions of these updates: Bangladeshi cartoonist Arifur Rahman, jailed at first to protect both himself and the public and now simply being held for the crime of creating a cartoon with wordplay that includes the word Muhammed. Unfortunately, that update says he's simply still being held.
posted 9:15 am PST | Permalink

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