Britain convicts cartoon protester

British politicians have welcomed the guilty verdict against Umran Javed.

    Around a 100 Muslims protested outside the Danish embassy in London in 2006 [Getty]

    David Perry, the prosecuting lawyer, told the court: "If you shout to your audience 'bomb, bomb Denmark, bomb, bomb USA', there is no doubt what you intend your audience to understand."
     
    Javed had told the trial he regretted his actions and had become over-excited during the protest outside the Danish embassy.
     
    The demonstration - where some protesters waved placards praising the 2005 London bombings by four British Muslims which killed 52 people - attracted widespread condemnation.
     
    The cartoons of Prophet Muhammad first appeared in a Danish newspaper in 2005 and unleashed a storm of protest in the Islamic world. At least 50 people were killed as Muslims demonstrated in the Middle East and Asia.
     
    Politicians praise verdict
     
    British politicians welcomed the verdict, saying it enforced necessary limits on freedom of speech.
     
    Nick Clegg of the opposition Liberal Democrats said: "This case has shown that there are, in some extreme cases, legitimate limits to freedom of expression in any liberal law-abiding society."
     
    David Davis, of the Conservatives, the main opposition party, said the prosecution was "entirely proper".
     
    "Everybody should understand that whilst Britain is a tolerant society, it should never tolerate threats of violence or death from any quarter under any circumstance," he said.
     
    The jury of seven men and five women took seven hours to convict Javed, who shook his head as he learned his fate.
     
    Shouts of protests in courtroom
     
    As the verdicts were handed down there were cries of protest from an unidentified man in the courtroom's public gallery.
     
    "I curse the judge, I curse the court, I curse the jury, all of you," the man shouted.
     
    At the trial, Javed said he had not intended to say anything at the protest until a megaphone was thrust into his hands: "I regret saying these things, they were just soundbites, slogans."
     
    Javed had travelled from his home in Birmingham, central England, to take part in the demonstration.
     
    He was remanded in custody.

    SOURCE: Reuters


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