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Second Yemen newspaper editor convicted for printing Muhammad cartoons

[JURIST] A court in Yemen on Wednesday found Mohammad al-Assadi guilty of denigrating Islam and fined him 500,000 rials ($2,541) for republishing offensive cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad [JURIST news archive] earlier this year. Al-Assadi, editor of the Yemen Observer [media website], said the guilty verdict was "baseless" and that he would appeal the decision. The newspaper temporarily had its license to print revoked over the matter, and prosecutors initially called for the death penalty [JURIST report] in the case. The paper's publishing ban was lifted [JURIST report] by government officials in May.

Last month, the editor-in-chief of another newspaper, al-Rai al-Aam [media website, in Arabic] was convicted and sentenced to one year in jail for violating Article 103 of the Press and Publications Law of 1990 [text] for publishing the cartoons. The cartoons depicting Muhammad originally appeared in a Danish newspaper in September 2005. They initially went unnoticed but violent protests erupted around the world [JURIST report] in February 2006 when they were republished. Reuters has more. The Yemen Observer has local coverage.

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