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Yemen lifts ban on newspapers that published Muhammad cartoons
Yemen lifts ban on newspapers that published Muhammad cartoons

[JURIST] Government officials in Yemen have said that three newspapers shut down after they republished caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad [JURIST news archive] may resume operations. The three papers, including the English-language Yemen Observer [media website] were closed and their licenses suspended [Article 19 protest letter, PDF] earlier this year over their decision to reprint the cartoons originally published in Denmark. Three journalists were arrested and charged with offending Islam [JURIST report], and those journalists will still face trial. Prosecutors in the case initially called for the death penalty [JURIST report], but the latest reports indicate that the government will now seek one-year jail sentences or a 10,000 rial fine ($55).

The initial publication of the cartoons in Danish newspapers and their subsequent reprint in media around the globe in February set off worldwide protests among Muslims leading to multiple deaths [JURIST report], the burning of Danish embassy buildings [JURIST report], and efforts to make blasphemy an internationally-recognized criminal offense [JURIST report]. Reuters has more.

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 Op-ed: Tolerance on Trial: Why We Reprinted the Danish Cartoons [Yemen Observer publisher]