Kosovo: Man convicted of threating ambassador over retweet

PRISTINA, Kosovo (AP) — A Kosovo court sentenced an ethnic Albanian man to 18 months in prison on terror charges for threatening the country’s ambassador to France.

The Pristina court found the man guilty of writing threatening words about Ambassador Qendrim Gashi on social media after the diplomat re-posted a French newspaper article that included caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad originally published by satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo.

The verdict said that the man posted Oct. 19 on his Facebook page “calls with threatening content against the ambassador of the Republic of Kosovo in France, Q.G..”

It added that the man, who was identified publicly only by the initials F.M., was being investigated on similar charges in other cases.

The ambassador had retweeted without comment a Le Figaro article about a French schoolteacher who was beheaded in suburban Paris in October after showing the Charlie Hebdo caricatures in class. Extremists carried out a January 2015 massacre at the newspaper’s offices after it first published the images.

The ambassador said he intended no offense to anyone with his retweet and that those who think he broke the law should seek his indictment in a French or Kosovar court.

“That is how we should resolve the dilemma of our society, through the law and not through threats and violence,” he wrote.

Authorities in Kosovo implemented tough anti-terrorism laws after hundreds of Kosovar Muslims joined terror groups in Syria and Iraq in the early 2010s.

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