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UK cartoons protestor convicted for inciting race hatred

[JURIST] A UK man was convicted Thursday of inciting racial hatred during a February protest [BBC report] in London against publication of cartoons of the prophet Muhammad [JURIST news archive]. Mizanur Rahman, 23, was arrested after a rally at the Danish embassy in Chelsea and also charged with inciting murder, but the jury could not reach a verdict on that matter. During his trial at the Central Criminal Court at the Old Bailey [official website], prosecutors presented evidence that Rahman had called for more September 11-style attacks throughout Europe and for UK troops in Iraq to be sent home in body bags, while carrying a placard reading "Annihilate those who insult Islam." Rahman remains in custody until the prosecution decides whether a retrial on the issue of inciting murder should take place.

Defense counsel John Burton told the jury that offensive remarks could not sustain a conviction, asking them whether Rahman had exercised his freedom of speech or had committed a serious crime. Rahman stated during the trial that he did not think anyone would take him seriously. BBC News has more.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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