Chief editor of weekly detained over cartoon

first_img RSF_en News Follow the news on Jordan Help by sharing this information Reporters Without Borders today protested against the detention of journalist Mamoun Al Roussan, editor-in-chief of the weekly Al Jazeera, who has been held since 14 August for publishing an article and cartoon lampooning the Qatari authorities. His arrest came shortly after the Jordanian authorities withdrew the accreditation of the Qatar-based satellite news station Al Jazeera, forcing it to close its offices in Jordan.”This arrest has come at a moment of diplomatic crisis between Jordan and Qatar, and one cannot help thinking that the Jordanian authorities intended it as a gesture that would appease the Qatari authorities”, Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Robert Ménard said in a letter to Information Minister Mohammad Adwan. “It is disgraceful that a journalist should pay the price of this dispute between the two countries”, Ménard said, calling on the authorities to release the journalist and drop all proceedings against his weekly.The Jordanian authorities withdrew the accreditation of the Qatari satellite TV station on 7 August, obliging it to close its main office in Amman and the offices of its four correspondents. The information minister accused the TV station of having intentionally undermined Jordan and its government’s policies.Al Roussan’s arrest was ordered on 14 August by the president of the state security court, Mahmoud Obeidat, who at the same time ordered the arrest of the weekly’s publisher and president of its board, Sakher Abu Anzeh. According to their lawyer, Haytham Al-Kayed, they are accused of harming relations with a foreign country, contempt toward a foreign head of state and his foreign minister, and disseminating mendacious reports.The charges arise from a photo montage (see below) published on the weeky’s back page two days earlier, on 12 August, portraying Qatari head of state Hamad ben Khalifah Al-Thani as a female singer and his foreign minister, Hamad ben Jassem Al-Thani, as a belly-dancer. The charges also stem from an article published in both this weekly and Al Chahed (another weekly belonging to the same publishing house) about the allegedly dubious ties between the Qatari foreign minister and Israel. According to their defence lawyer, Roussan told the judge their source for this story was information broadcast by Jordan’s public televison.The publisher was released on bail on 15 August by the state security court, which took the view that he was not directly responsible for the articles. Under article 150 of the penal code, the publisher and his chief editor are both held responsible for what is published, but full responsibility lies with the chief editor. News News August 17, 2002 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Chief editor of weekly detained over cartoon to go further Coronavirus “information heroes” – journalism that saves lives August 12, 2020 Find out morecenter_img News Jordan bans coverage of teachers’ protests Two Jordanian TV journalists arrested after broadcasting criticism of lockdown Receive email alerts April 14, 2020 Find out more JordanMiddle East – North Africa JordanMiddle East – North Africa Organisation June 15, 2020 Find out morelast_img read more