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Danish court dismisses lawsuit against editors over Muhammad cartoons

[JURIST] A Danish court dismissed a lawsuit [ruling, in Danish] Thursday filed by Muslim organizations [JURIST report] against the two editors of the Danish newspaper who published caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad [JURIST news archive] earlier this year. Worldwide protests among Muslims followed Jyllands-Posten [media website, in Danish] publication of the cartoons, leading to multiple deaths [JURIST report], the burning of Danish embassy buildings [JURIST report], and boycotts of Danish goods. The plaintiffs sued Editor-in-Chief Carsten Juste and Culture Editor Flemming Rose for defamation and sought more than $16,000 in damages. The City Court in Aerhus held that while some Muslims may have been offended by the cartoons [BBC analysis], there was no reason to believe the editors intended to "belittle Muslims."

The seven Muslim groups filed the lawsuit in March, following the announcement [text] by Denmark's Director of Public Prosecutions [official website] Henning Fode that the government would not press criminal charges [JURIST report] against the newspaper or its employees. A Jordanian court in May convicted editors [JURIST report] of two national newspapers and sentenced them to two months' imprisonment for publishing the cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad [Wikipedia backgrounder]. The editor of the Indonesian online newspaper Rakyat Merdeka will face trial [JURIST report] for publishing the cartoons on its website in February. AP has more. BBC News has additional coverage.

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