Australian cartoonist given police protection

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Sydney: Australian cartoonist Larry Pickering has been given police protection after he posted a derogatory cartoon of Prophet Muhammad on his website.

Detectives visited the long-time strident satirist at his home in Queensland to warn that he was at a risk of reprisals after posting the cartoon last week following the Parisian murders by Muslim extremists, who primarily targeted cartoonists, Xinhua reported Tuesday.

The officers told Pickering that he has “upset a lot of people” and that they were putting him under high-priority protective surveillance.

“I guess they must have picked up some intelligence or chatter after I did the cartoon,” Pickering said. “They gave me their details and special phone numbers and said if I call, they will be there in minutes.”

Pickering, 72, has been a controversial figure throughout his career.

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