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Denmark police arrest suspects in alleged plot to kill Muhammad cartoonist

[JURIST] Danish police on Tuesday arrested several people suspected in a plot to murder Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard, one of the 12 cartoonists who published cartoons [Le Monde slideshow] of the Muslim prophet Muhammad in 2005 that sparked widespread protests across the Islamic world. According to Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, which first published the cartoons in September 2005, the Danish police service PET [official website] has followed the group of suspected conspirators for months. PET said the arrests were preemptive and designed to stop the conspiracy before it advanced beyond the planning stages. AP has more. Jyllands-Posten has local coverage, in English.

The Muhammad cartoon controversy [JURIST report] led to a number of international lawsuits and arrests alleging defamation of character and disruption of the peace. A French court in March 2007 dismissed charges [JURIST report] against Charlie-Hebdo magazine and its director after the court found that the defendants had not purposely meant to offend Muslims. In September, Bangladeshi authorities arrested [JURIST report] cartoonist Arifur Rahman and suspended the publication of weekly satire magazine Alpin after it reprinted the cartoon. Last month, a former newspaper editor in Belarus was sentenced to three years in prison [JURIST report] for reprinting the cartoons in the Zhoda newspaper.

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