June 1, 2006

Finland won’t charge group over Mohammad cartoons

HELSINKI (Reuters) - Finnish prosecutors said on Thursday
that they would not charge a group for publishing controversial
Danish cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad on a Web site earlier
this year.

Prosecutor Jorma Kalske found the cartoons had been
damaging to Muslim sensitivities, but had not been published
with the intent to insult anyone.

The anti-immigration group Suomen Sisu posted the pictures
in February after a similar site in neighboring Sweden was shut

"I consider it credible that their aim was a kind of
protest against the public authorities," Kalske said in a
statement on his decision not to prosecute members of Suomen

The group calls itself "a revolutionary Finnish nationalist
movement" and claims a membership of about 400.

It said on the Web site, which still has a link to the
cartoons, that the publication was "the expression of an
opinion" prompted by the closure of the Swedish site.

Finland's mainstream media did not publish the pictures,
which first appeared in a Danish daily last September and
sparked a wave of violent protests by Muslims around the world.

Finland has a small community of about 30,000 Muslims, in a
country of 5.3 million people.

(Additional reporting by Terhi Kinnunen)