Belarus Frees Journalist Jailed for Printing Islamic Cartoons

February 22, 2008

Author: Staff Writer

Source: Fox News

Wire Service: AP,2933,332031,00.html

Belarusian authorities released an independent journalist from prison on Friday, his lawyer said, a decision that appeared to be part of the authoritarian president's efforts to improve ties with the West.

Alexander Sdvizhkov, a former deputy editor of the Zgoda newspaper, had been convicted in January of inciting religious hatred by publishing caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad and been sentenced to three years in prison.

Belarus' Supreme Court mitigated Sdvizhkov's sentence Friday, reducing it to three months, which he has already served, said his lawyer, Maya Alexandrova.