Accessibility links

Breaking News

Norwegian Court Jails Iraqi Cleric For Urging Muslims To Kill

A Norwegian court sentenced a controversial Kurdish Islamic cleric to 18 months in prison October 30 for urging Muslims to kill on national television.

Iraqi-born Najmuddin Faraj Ahmad, also known as Mullah Krekar, in February said a Kurdish man living in Norway deserved to die after he posted images of himself burning the Koran.

Krekar said in an interview with broadcaster NRK that he would "send a gift" to whoever killed the man.

"There is a real possibility that someone would do what [Krekar] urged," the court ruled. "The court does not consider the...statements to be protected by freedom of speech."

Krekar was released from prison shortly before the intervew for making death threats in 2010 against four people, including Erna Solberg, who later became Norway's prime minister.

Krekar, 59, has two weeks to appeal.

Krekar has been a controversial figure since he was granted asylum in Norway in 1991.

Norway and the United States have accused him of financing a defunct Iraqi Sunni insurgent group called Ansar al-Islam, which reportedly merged with the Islamic State last year.

Based on reporting by AP and dpa

RFE/RL has been declared an "undesirable organization" by the Russian government.

If you are in Russia or the Russia-controlled parts of Ukraine and hold a Russian passport or are a stateless person residing permanently in Russia or the Russia-controlled parts of Ukraine, please note that you could face fines or imprisonment for sharing, liking, commenting on, or saving our content, or for contacting us.

To find out more, click here.