Editor acquitted in French cartoons trial

22nd March 2007, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, March 22, 2007 (AFP) - A Paris court on Thursday acquitted the editor of a satirical French weekly, sued by two Muslim groups for publishing cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed.

PARIS, March 22, 2007 (AFP) - A Paris court on Thursday acquitted the editor of a satirical French weekly, sued by two Muslim groups for publishing cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed.

Applause broke out in the courtroom at the announcement of the verdict, which ruled that the three cartoons published by the weekly Charlie Hebdo in February 2006 were not insulting to the Muslim community.

The Paris Grand Mosque and the Union of Islamic Organisations of France took Charlie Hebdo editor Philippe Val to court for reprinting cartoons that first appeared in a Danish newspaper, sparking angry protests by Muslims worldwide.

They argued at the trial last month that the cartoons drew an offensive link between Islam and terrorism and asked for 30,000 euros (38,750 dollars) in damages.

One of the cartoons reprinted from Denmark's Jyllands-Posten showed Mohammed wearing a turban shaped as a bomb, and a second showing the prophet standing on a cloud, turning away suicide bombers from paradise with the caption "Stop, stop, we ran out of virgins."

A separate drawing by French cartoonist Cabu showed Mohammed sobbing, holding his head in his hands and saying: "It is hard to be loved by fools.

The trial was seen as an important test for freedom of expression in France and large crowds crammed into the Paris courtroom to hear the arguments put by both sides.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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