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Mail companies refuse to distribute Muhammad caricature

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10:48 CET+01:00
Sweden's largest direct marketing company has joined the national postal service in refusing to distribute a political newspaper containing a caricature of the Muslim prophet Muhammad.

Earlier this week Posten decided not to distribute SD-Kuriren - a newspaper produced by the far-right Sweden Democrats - in Svedala in southern Sweden. As the newspaper contained a reproduction of Lars Vilks's controversial illustration of Muhammad as a dog, the postal service said that to distribute the publication would constitute a security risk.

"We want to protect the safety of our mail carriers. This illustration has provoked reactions that have led to death threats," a spokesman for Posten, Per Ljungberg, told Sydsvenskan on Monday.

On Wednesday marketing company Svensk Direktreklam announced that it too was refusing to deliver the Sweden Democrats' newspaper. The company stated that it would only distribute political material emanating from Sweden's current parliamentary parties.

Sweden Democrat party leader Jimmie Åkesson was infuriated by the companies' decision not to distribute SD-Kuriren.

"For both Posten and its main competitor to refuse to deliver information from a particular political party is a serious threat to free expression," he said in a statement.

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