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Koran and Bible-burning trio acquitted

Three men who announced their intention to burn copies of the Koran and the Bible on Bern’s Parliament Square last November have been acquitted by a Swiss court.

The book burnings never took place but the three, two Indians and a Swiss, were charged with violating laws on freedom of faith and religious practice.

The judge ruled that the men could not be prosecuted for simply announcing their intention to burn the religious texts. However the three were asked to pay half of the costs on the grounds that they had overstepped the boundaries of personal freedom and injured the religious feelings of others.

The men, who describe themselves as Hindu, tried unsuccessfully before to have the two holy books banned to children and young people because of the texts’ alleged pornographic content and incitement to violence.

The announcement of their intention to burn books attracted widespread media attention and the men were arrested when they travelled to Bern for interviews the day before the planned event. They were released two days later.

swissinfo.ch and agencies

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