Bail denied for Al Wakeel, editor behind offensive Jesus cartoon


Published: 2018-12-11 15:21

Last Updated: 2022-06-29 01:00

Jordanian media personality Mohammad Al Wakeel. (Al Hurra)
Jordanian media personality Mohammad Al Wakeel. (Al Hurra)

Jordanian media personality Mohammad Al Wakeel and an editor who works at his website, Al Wakeel News, were denied bail by the Attorney General of Amman on Tuesday, December 11.

Al Wakeel and the trainee editor were detained on Monday, December 10, after his website’s official Facebook page published a cartoon that was deemed offensive to Jesus by Christians and Muslims in Jordan.

The cartoon, posted on Saturday, December 8, depicted Turkish chef “Salt Bae” - real name Nusret Gökçe - sprinkling salt on the food at Jesus’ Last Supper.

For the time being, Al Wakeel and his employee, who published the cartoon, will remain at the Jwaideh Correctional and Rehabilitation Centre for the next week on charges of incitement of sectarian and religious strife, as stipulated in Article 150 of the Punishments Law, Article 15 of the Cybercrime Law and Article 38 of the Press and Publications Law.

This incident reminded many of the assassination of writer and political activist Nahed Hattar.

In 2016, the 56-year-old Jordanian Arab Christian journalist was assassinated by an Islamist outside the Palace of Justice in the capital Amman, where he was about to defend himself against Jordanian government charges of “incitement.”

Hattar had been on trial for blasphemy after sharing a cartoon on Facebook titled “God of Daesh,” that was deemed too offensive to Islam by many Jordanians.

At the time, the writer explained that the cartoon was making fun of "terrorists and how they imagine God and heaven, and does not insult God in anyway."