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UK charges three over cartoon protest

They were charged after demonstrators gathered outside the Danish embassy in London on Feb 3, chanting and waving placards.

india Updated: Mar 20, 2006 18:21 IST

British police charged three men with public order offences on Wednesday after they took part in a demonstration in London over the publication of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad by European media.

They were charged after hundreds of demonstrators gathered outside the Danish embassy in the capital on February 3, chanting and waving placards.

Some of those on the march had waved banners praising the July 7 London bombings which killed 52 people on the transport network last year.

London police said in a statement that Uman Javed, 26, from Birmingham, central England, had been charged with soliciting murder and will appear in court on Thursday.

Abdul Rahman Saleem, 31, from London, was charged with "using words likely to stir up racial hatred" while Omar Zaheer, 26, also from London, was charged under the Public Order Act. Both
will appear in court on March 31.

Two other men, aged 39 and 23, were bailed to return to a police station in London on April 19.

The spontaneous demonstration attracted widespread political condemnation and the mainstream Muslim Council of Britain called for those involved to be prosecuted.

The controversial cartoons were first published in September in a Danish newspaper and were then reprinted by papers in other countries but not Britain.

The publication prompted uproar in the Islamic world, with thousands taking to the streets to protest. Many Muslims believe it is blasphemous to depict the Prophet.

London police said Wednesday's action came after detectives had studied footage of the London protest and consulted with prosecutors over whether there was enough evidence to press criminal charges.

First Published: Mar 16, 2006 19:38 IST