OSCE protests jailing of Belarus editor who printed Muhammad cartoons

Europe's largest security organization lodged a protest Friday with authorities in Belarus, where a newspaper editor was ordered jailed for three years for reprinting cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad that originally were published in Denmark. Miklos Haraszti, media freedom representative for the Vienna-based Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, urged officials in the ex-Soviet republic to release Alexander Zdvizhkov, the former deputy editor of the Zhoda newspaper. Haraszti called the sentence to a high-security prison excessive and accused Belarus of misusing hate speech laws. The verdict was announced Friday, the OSCE said.