Denmark refuses to apologise to China over coronavirus CARTOON

  29 January 2020    Read: 1164
 Denmark refuses to apologise to China over coronavirus CARTOON

A Danish newspaper refused to apologise to China on Tuesday over a satirical cartoon it ran about the deadly new virus that has killed dozens and infected thousands more, with the prime minister stepping in to defend freedom of speech.

The cartoon, published in Jyllands-Posten on Monday, depicted a Chinese flag with the yellow stars normally found in the upper left corner exchanged for drawings of the new coronavirus.

China's embassy in Denmark called the cartoon "an insult to China" that "hurts the feelings of the Chinese people".

The embassy said the cartoon crossed the "ethical boundary of free speech" and demanded that the paper and cartoonist Niels Bo Bojesen "reproach themselves for their mistake and publicly apologise to the Chinese people".

Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said freedom of expression in Denmark includes cartoons.

"We have a very, very strong tradition in Denmark not only for freedom of expression, but also for satirical drawings, and we will have that in the future as well," Ms Frederiksen said. "It is a well-known Danish position, and we will not change that."

After breaking out in the city of Wuhan, the official number of confirmed cases of the new virus reached more than 5,000 in China as of Wednesday, with over 130 deaths.

Some 50 infections have also been confirmed elsewhere in Asia, Europe and North America.

On Tuesday, Jyllands-Posten's chief editor Jacob Nybroe said they would not "dream of" poking fun at the situation in China but also refused to apologise.

"We cannot apologise for something we don't think is wrong. We have no intention of being demeaning or to mock, nor do we think that the drawing does," Mr Nybroe said.

"As far as I can see, this here is about different forms of cultural understanding."

Jylland-Posten is no stranger to controversy. In 2005, it published several cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed, which later contributed to violent protests in some Muslim countries.

 

The Telegraph


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