Jordanian editors arrested over “offensive” pictures of Qatari leaders
Authorities in Jordan arrested Wednesday the chairman and editor of two weekly newspapers for publishing damaging material against Qatar, including a photo-montage of its leaders as belly dancers.
Fakher Abu Anzeh, chairman of Al-Shahed newspaper, and Maamun al-Russan, editor of the Al-Jazira weekly, were arrested for 15 days and will be referred to the state security court, their lawyer Haytham al-Kayed told AFP.
The state prosecutor accused the two journalists of "undermining (Jordan's) relations with a foreign country, contempt against the Qatari head of state and his foreign minister, as well as propagating false information," the lawyer said.
The independent Al-Jazira published in its Monday edition a photo-montage showing Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem al-Thani with his head mounted over the body of a belly dancer. Qatari leader Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani is portrayed in the same photo-montage as a woman in mini-dress, singing into a microphone. Al-Jazira also carried on its front-page a banner headline saying: "Qatar .. nest of spies".
The two weeklies, which belong to the same publishing house, were accused of "propagating false information" for carrying an article that lashed out at "the suspicious links between the Qatari foreign minister and Israel".
Russan, who is the editor of both Al-Jazira and Al-Shahed, told the prosecutor that "the information was taken from a program broadcast by Jordan (state) television," the lawyer said. Jordan television last week accused the Qatari foreign minister of being responsible for a program broadcast by the Doha-based Al-Jazeera satellite news channel on August 6 critical of Jordan's royal family.
"Sheikh Hamad ... gave instructions to make a spiteful program (against Jordan) to please his Zionist friends in Israel," a Jordan television broadcaster said last Friday. (Albawaba.com)
© 2002 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)