Charlie Hebdo 'paid the highest price': Danish editor

7th January 2015, Comments 0 comments

The Danish editor who triggered global protests by publishing cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed said Wednesday that French weekly Charlie Hebdo had "paid the highest price" for defending press freedom.

"Charlie Hebdo didn't shut up... and they have now paid the highest price for that," former culture editor Flemming Rose told Jyllands-Posten, the Danish daily that published the cartoons.

The newspaper, where he is now a foreign affairs editor, reportedly raised security after the deadly attack on the French satirical weekly.

"Here at Jyllands-Posten we live with extensive security measures. There have been a whole raft of incidents concerning Islam and violence" over the past 10 years or so, he said.

Rose commissioned 12 cartoons of the Islamic prophet that were published on September 30, 2005, causing angry and sometimes deadly protests worldwide. The cartoons were reprinted by Charlie Hebdo in 2006.

Kurt Westergaard, the artist behind the most controversial of the 12 cartoons, was targeted in a failed murder attempt at his home in 2010 but told media on Wednesday that he did not fear for his safety thanks to police protection.

He told Danish public radio that the Paris attack was "scary and horrible" and he praised Charlie Hebdo's staff for holding "all authoritarian forces" to account regardless of whether "they're Islamists, Catholics or politicians".

The Danish security and intelligence service said in a statement that it was monitoring the situation carefully.

In 2011, Pakistan-born Chicago resident Tahawwur Hussain Rana was sentenced to 14 years in prison for plotting an aborted attack on Jyllands-Posten and for supporting a banned Pakistani militant group.

In 2012, a Danish court sentenced three Swedish nationals and a Tunisian living in Sweden to 12 years behind bars for committing "terrorism" with a plot to kill Jyllands-Posten staff.

© 2015 AFP

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