AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - A Dutch cartoonist arrested for publishing cartoons on the Internet targeting Muslims will not be charged, the Dutch prosecutor said on Tuesday.
Cartoonist Gregorius Nekschot’s case has been closely monitored as anti-Islamic politician Geert Wilders, whose Freedom Party is in negotiations to form a coalition government, is himself facing charges of inciting hatred and discrimination.
Nekschot, a pseudonym meaning ‘shot in the neck’ in Dutch, was arrested in May 2008 following an investigation that started in 2005. He was released 30 hours after his detention.
The prosecution service said he would not be facing charges because he had spent a day and night in detention and the cartoons in question were no longer online.
Several of Nekschot’s cartoons on his website target Islam and also criticise other religions including Christianity.
A Dutch Muslim group was fined 2,500 euros in August for publishing a cartoon which suggested the Holocaust was made up or exaggerated by Jews.
A cartoon in a Danish newspaper in 2005 showing Islam’s Prophet Mohammad with a bomb in his turban sparked violent protests in Muslim countries. The backlash prompted the newspaper to apologise, but the Danish government defended its right to freedom of expression.
(Reporting by Greg Roumeliotis; Editing by Louise Ireland)
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