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Gag order bans coverage of writer detained over cartoon

By Mohammad Ghazal , Petra - Aug 14,2016 - Last updated at Aug 14,2016

AMMAN — Amman Prosecutor General Abdullah Abu Ghanam on Sunday issued a gag order banning the publication of any news or information in the case of Jordanian writer Nahed Hattar.

Abu Ghanam said the prosecution will hold accountable whoever breaks the gag order by broadcasting news or information, whether on websites, social media outlets or any other means.

He said the decision was made to maintain confidentiality during the investigation, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

Earlier in the day, Abu Ghanam ordered the detention of Hattar for one week, pending further investigation, at Marka Correctional and Rehabilitation Centre, in line with Article 150 of the Penal Code and the E-Crimes Law.

Hattar was charged with incitement to racism and sectarianism, and insulting religious feelings and beliefs under Article 278 of the Penal Code.

The journalist sparked outrage on Friday by sharing a caricature on his Facebook page depicting a bearded man in heaven, smoking and in bed with women, asking God to bring him wine and cashews.

In the cartoon, the man also asks God to clear his dishes, put a door on his tent and knock before entering.

Hattar later published an apology on his Facebook page, explaining that the cartoon depicted the “God of Daesh”.


He said he shared the cartoon to mock terrorists, and how they view heaven and God. It was not meant to insult God, he added.

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