Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Sweden: Investigate attack on Freedom of Expression

Lars Vilks, a Swedish cartoonist famous for depicting Prophet Mohammed as a dog in 2007, was attacked on 11 May 2010 in Sweden, while delivering a lecture on freedom of expression at Uppsala University - one of the World's Top 100 Universities. His controversial drawing earned him death threats from many individuals and organizations, including Al-Qaeda - which put a $150,000 bounty on his head (according to The Local). Lars Vilks has been under police protection for a long time now. What happened yesterday?

Dramatic video clips of the attack on Lars Vilks in a lecture hall in Uppsala University, have surfaced. WATCH

Believe it or not - this is an attack on freedom of expression; an attack on a fundamental human right and beacon of democracy. Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights clearly states:

"Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers."

Although the police succeeded to get Lars Vilks to safety, the situation outside the lecture hall was even more rowdy - with people shouting "Allāhu Akbar". WATCH

Lars Vilks was attacked because, in 2007, he expressed himself and imparted an idea in a way considered to be flawed. An attack on Lars Vilks represents a threat to freedom of expression in Sweden and beyond.

Three people were arrested following the attack, but were released today - 12 May 2010. Meanwhile, Lar Vilks' blog has been hacked.

The dramatic attack on Lars Vilks comes only two months after I publish an article about Jihad Jane - a woman whose mission was to murder Vilks.

The attack is under investigation.

Photo from Flickr

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