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Cartoon row: Malaysian editor steps down

The duty editor of the Sarawak Tribune stepped down after the 12 cartoons appeared on page 12 of the paper on Feb 4.

india Updated: Feb 06, 2006 13:09 IST
Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse

A junior editor of a Malaysian newspaper has resigned for reproducing cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed that have triggered violent protests across the Islamic world.

The duty editor of the Sarawak Tribune, a local newspaper in eastern Sarawak state on Borneo island, stepped down after the 12 cartoons appeared on page 12 of the paper on February 4, the newspaper said in a statement seen by the agency.

The Tribune was the first newspaper in this conservative mainly-Muslim country to have reproduced any of the 12 drawings, which were first printed in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten last September.

The Tribune subsequently published an unreserved front-page apology on Sunday.

"The editor-on-duty concerned has admitted and regretted his oversight and officially written an apology and at the same time taken full and sole responsibility for the same," the apology said.

"The editor-on-duty concerned has voluntarily resigned forthwith," it added.

A staff member at the Tribune, who requested anonymity, described the editor in question as a "fairly junior editor."

Newspaper reports said that the editor-in-chief of the Sarawak Tribune had been summoned upon by the deputy internal security minister Noh Omar to explain how the caricature was let through.

Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi on Saturday condemned the caricatures as "a deliberate act of provocation" and a "blatant disregard for Islamic sensitivities."

First Published: Feb 06, 2006 13:09 IST