Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Outrage! Danish editors to be forcibly deported to Jordan to face trial

By The Copenhagen Post
Published 03.06.08

A Jordanian organisation wants to prosecute the Danes responsible for the printing of the Mohammed cartoons.

Eleven Danes have been summoned to appear before the Jordanian public prosecutor to answer charges of blasphemy and threatening the national peace.

They include the cartoonist who drew one of the Mohammed cartoons and editors from 10 of the 17 newspapers that reprinted them.
The group behind the announcement is called The Prophet Unites Us, a union of Jordanian media organisations, organisations and private individuals.
'The public prosecutor decided to summon the Danes for a series of criminal offences. Now the Danes have to meet in Jordan,' said Zakaria al-Sheikh, the group's general secretary, to Politiken newspaper.
He explained that the public prosecutor will ask the Danish embassy for help in contacting Danish officials to arrange the meeting of the editors.
Osama al-Bettar, the group's lawyer, said that if the Danes do not appear, the next step will be to inform Interpol and seek their arrest.
The public prosecutor confirmed to Politiken that the editors have been summoned.
However, the Danish foreign ministry has said that a forced deportation is not a possibility. It would require that the printing of the Mohammed cartoons is punishable in Denmark, which is not the case.
The case will be heard by Jordanian public prosecutor Hassan Abdullat on 21 April. He will hear witness testimony and decide if the case will continue further with the possibility of a three-year jail term or be dismissed.
The case is being brought under changes made to the Jordanian Justice Act in 2006.
The changes make it possible for Jordanian officials to prosecute crimes committed outside the country if it affected the people of Jordan by electronic means.
The 10 Danish newspapers all published the cartoons on their websites in February after a threat was made on the life of one the cartoonists.
Both the cartoonist and the responsible editors are accused of violating Jordanian law, which prohibits the ridicule of a prophet. It is considered offensive to depict Mohammed in any way. (KR) (JP.dk)


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