Danish editor who published Prophet cartoons wins prize

The Danish newspaper editor who published controversial cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed in 2005 was awarded on Monday a free press prize for his “determination and courage.” The Danish-based Free Press Society awarded Flemming Rose the inaugural international Sappho Prize, worth $3,568 (€2,685).

The publication of the 12 cartoons in the daily Jyllands-Posten in September 2005 prompted an international dispute.

Lars Hedegaard of the Free Press Society said the prize honoured a “journalist who combines excellence in his work with courage and a refusal to compromise.” Hedegaard compared the pressure placed on Rose and his newspaper to apologise for publishing the cartoons to those voices calling for the appeasement of Nazi Germany at the dawn of World War II.

“Decisive to our decision was Rose’s courage to print the cartoons and to stand his ground under the worst storm any journalist has ever endured,” Hedegaard said.

Today’s Zaman, 20 March 2007