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Bangladesh arrests creator of Muhammad cartoon, suspends magazine over publication

[JURIST] Bangladesh [JURIST news archive] suspended publication of weekly satire magazine Alpin Friday after hundreds of Bangladeshi Muslims protested the publication of a cartoon depicting a young boy and his "Muhammad cat," saying the cartoon ridiculed the Muslim prophet Muhammad. Protesters burned copies of Prothom Alo [media website, in Bangladeshi], the daily newspaper that publishes the Alpin magazine, and demanded that the cartoonist, editor and publisher be arrested. Cartoonist Arifur Rahman has been arrested, while the editor of Prothom Alo and editors of other daily newspapers have asked for forgiveness from angry citizens. The Bangladeshi government has not said what charges Arifur faces, but it has indicated that the cartoon may be part of a scheme to disrupt the peace.

In June, a UK court sentenced three citizens [JURIST report] to six-year prison terms for inciting murder and racial hatred during a February 2006 protest [BBC report] against the republication of cartoons depicting the prophet Muhammad [JURIST news archive]. That cartoon was originally published in a Danish newspaper in September 2005, and incited worldwide protests. In March, a French court cleared a French magazine and its director of defamation charges [JURIST report] in the republication of the same cartoon. Reuters has more.

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