Norwegian PEN condemns attack on Danish cartoonist
Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard, right, was attacked at his home outside Aarhus in the evening 1 January by a man of Somali origin. "This episode shows once again how fragile freedom of speech has become in our society and how important it is that we are stuck on the defense of the right to freely assert their voices", says Norwegian PEN's leader, Anders Heger.
Wednesday, 06 January 2010, by HRH Oslo, based on www.norskpen.no
Find Norwegian version here.
Freedom of speech organization Norwegian PEN will strongly distance from the attack on the Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard.
Westergaard was attacked at his home outside Aarhus in the evening 1 January by a man of Somali origin. The man took him into Westergård housing using an ax. Westergaard and his five-year-old grandson, who was on overnight visit, came unscathed from the drama of the fall, thanks to a special security system in the bathroom.
"I saved me in the back room and there was I notified the police, while he vigorously tried to turn into the door there. But he did not succeed," said Westergaard told Ritzau.
"This episode shows once again how fragile freedom of speech has become in our society and how important it is that we are stuck on the defense of the right to freely assert their voices", says Norwegian PEN's leader, Anders Heger, left.
Norwegian PEN hopes the world community will react sharply against these violent attacks and hopes that the Danish authorities will ensure that Westergaard can still carry out his profession without fear of attack or reprisals from religious or political groups or individuals who feel offended by his drawings.
Kurt Westergaard (born July 13, 1935) is a Danish Cartoonist who created the controversial cartoon of the Muslim prophet Muhammad wearing a bomb as a turban.
This cartoon was the most contentious of the 12 Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons, which received strong and sometimes violent reactions from Muslims and others worldwide. Westergaard said that terrorism that received "spiritual ammunition" from Islam inspired him to draw the cartoon.
On February 12, 2008, the Danish Security and Intelligence Service announced the arrest of three people - two Tunisians and one Dane of Moroccan origin - alleged to have been planning the murder of Westergaard for drawing this very cartoon.
HRH Oslo, based on www.norskpen.no