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Yemen ends ban on newspapers for Mohammad cartoons

Written by: Staff

SANAA, May 2 (Reuters) Yemen today lifted a ban on three newspapers it had closed for reprinting cartoons lampooning Islam's Prophet Mohammad, a government official said.

The cabinet decided to cancel the suspension of the nglish- language Yemen Observer, al-Hurriya, and al-Rai al-Am came after a meeting with the head of the country's Journalists' Syndicate, said the official.

In February, the authorities charged three journalists with denigrating Islam after closing their newspapers.

The three journalists will still face trial, the official said.

Prosecutors have demanded the journalists be jailed for a year or pay a fine of 10,000 rials (55 dollars).

The three men have said their intention in printing the cartoons, one of which shows Prophet Mohammad with a bomb-shaped turban, was to help defend Islam.

Many Muslims consider images of the Prophet to be blasphemous.

The cartoons, which first appeared in a Danish daily before being reprinted by newspapers across the world, outraged Muslims.

Reuters PM RN2332

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