Lars Vilks, Swedish artist, receives free speech award after attack

Swedish artist Lars Vilks, the main speaker at a seminar in Copenhagen targeted by a gunman a month ago, has received a freedom of speech prize.

Lars Vilks received numerous threats after he drew Prophet Muhammad with a dog's body in 2007

Swedish artist Lars Vilks won a freedom of speech prize from Denmark's Free Press Society. The 68-year-old sparked outrage among Muslims in 2007 with a drawing portraying the Prophet Muhammad as a dog. (David Leth Williams/Scanpix/Reuters)

Swedish artist Lars Vilks, the main speaker at a seminar in Copenhagen targeted by a gunman a month ago, has received a freedom of speech prize.

Denmark's Free Press Society said Vilks received its annual award on Saturday for his "staunch fearlessness."

The 68-year-old has received numerous threats for drawing the Prophet Muhammad with a dog's body in 2007 and was likely the intended target of the Feb. 14 attack by Omar El-Hussein.

El-Hussein killed a bystander outside the building housing the seminar before spraying the entrance with 27 bullets, wounding three police officers. Hours later, he fatally shot a Jewish guard outside Copenhagen's main synagogue.

Separately Saturday, thousands of people formed a human ring outside Copenhagen's synagogue in a sign of solidarity with Denmark's small Jewish community.

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