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March 31, 2008

Dutch to Prosecute Geert Wilders?

Submit or die.

More [Gabe]: A couple of things about this. First, I can't find any other reports that Dutch prosecutors are planning to take legal action against Wilder except for the report Nice Deb links, a Russian news service. So don't get bent out of shape until it actually happens. In other accounts of the Dutch Foreign Minister's comments, it appears he said that diplomats inquired whether Wilders would be prosecuted for violating hate speech laws and that the prosecutors office hadn't decided yet.

The Dutch government has condemned the violent acts depicted in the film, but also rejected Wilder's interpretation of Islam. But there is no indication that Wilder has run afoul of any criminal laws. Some parts of the Islamic world are calling for him to be prosecuted for "paying tribute to terrorism", allegedly a crime in the Netherlands.

It's possible that the news agency was confused about another lawsuit in the works against Wilders this one by the Danish Union of Journalists. Wilders used without permission images of one of the cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad that led to all the rioting and carrying on two years ago. But it sounds like that lawsuit has already been dropped:

Wilders' spokeswoman Daphne Rozenboom said in an e-mail that Wilders would replace the cartoon and make other minor edits. She could not give details on how Wilders would change a film that has been dispersed widely over the Internet and downloaded millions of times since its release late Thursday.

In Denmark, Westergaard [the cartoonist] said he was happy with Wilders' decision and believed the lawsuit would be dropped.

He added that Wilders might have won his permission to use the cartoon if he had asked.

No word on when the re-edited version will be released.

UPDATE and BUMP [Gabe]: Cartoonist Kurt Westergaard has drawn a political cartoon of Geert Wilders in support of freedom of expression. It uses elements of the cartoon that Wilders appropriated for his film.


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posted by Ace at 08:13 PM

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