Top Newspaper Chairman Resigns over Sacking of Cartoonist
The chairman of the board of directors of Jordan's Arabic-language newspaper, Khaled Karaki, has tendered his resignation to protest against the sacking of the daily's popular cartoonist, his wife said Sunday.
"My husband resigned over a question of liberties. He cannot tolerate seeing talented people restricted in their work by the newspaper's board," Karaki's wife, the writer Insaf Kal'aji, told AFP.
Karaki tendered his resignation on Saturday over the "dismissal" last week by Al-Rai newspaper of Imad Hajjaj, Jordan's most popular cartoonist.
Karaki, a former minister and previous head of the royal cabinet, has been chairman of the board of directors at Al-Rai and its sister English-language newspaper, the Jordan Times, for the past 15 months.
Last week, Hajjaj told AFP he was dismissed by Al-Rai over a cartoon published July 4th poking fun at Fast Link, a mobile phone company and one of the daily's top clients.
But the newspaper's editor-in-chief Suleiman al-Qodah later told AFP that Hajjaj was given one month paid leave over "administrative measures" and future cooperation with the artist will be reviewed.
Jordanian Information Minister Taleb Rifai told AFP that the government, which holds a majority stake of around 60 percent in the newspaper along with the social security authority, "wishes to reinforce a climate of freedom and independence in newspapers."
"Al-Rai takes its decisions freely and assumes responsibility for them," Rifai said.
"I am sorry however not to see cartoons by Imad Hajjaj in Al-Rai," Rifai added - AMMAN (AFP)
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)