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Gag order issued in Hattar shooting

By JT - Sep 26,2016 - Last updated at Sep 26,2016

Residents of Fuheis, the home town of writer Nahed Hattar, and activists protest outside the headquarters of Prime Ministry in Amman on Monday (Photo by Osama Aqarbeh)

AMMAN — The State Security Court (SSC) on Monday banned all forms of publication regarding the shooting of Jordanian writer Nahed Hattar, the Jordan Media Commission (JMC) said. 

JMC Director General Amjad Qadi issued a circular notifying media outlets of the ban, in pursuance of Article 39 of the Press and Publications Law. 

The letter clarified that the gag order was issued to preserve the secrecy of the investigation in the public’s interest. 

Authorities have identified the gunman, who allegedly shot and killed Hattar on the steps of the Palace of Justice in Abdali on Sunday, as Riad Abdullah, a 49-year-old resident of east Amman. 

The journalist, facing trial for sharing a caricature that was considered insulting to religious beliefs, was apparently on his way to attend a court hearing.

The caricature depicted a bearded man in heaven, smoking and in bed with women, asking a figure resembling God to bring him wine and cashews.

The Criminal Court prosecutor on Sunday charged the suspect with premeditated murder and decided to refer him to the SSC on terrorism charges, a senior judicial source said. 

Residents of Fuheis, Hattar’s hometown located 20km northwest of Amman, and activists protested outside the Prime Ministry in Amman on Monday over the crime. 

Protesters condemned the crime and chanted slogans against the government, demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Hani Mulki. 

According to relatives of Hattar, his family is still refusing to receive his remains.

The family has blamed the authorities for not offering protection to Hattar as he had been receiving death threats.

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