Jordan Imposes Media Blackout After Anti-Islam Cartoonist Assassinated

Protesters hold portraits of prominent Jordanian writer Nahed Hattar, who was shot dead the previous day outside an Amman court, during a demonstration in front of the prime minister's offices on September 26, 2016. Jordan's judiciary slapped a media blackout on the murder of the Christian writer who was gunned …

AMMAN (AFP) –  Jordan’s judiciary Monday slapped a media blackout on the murder of a Christian writer shot dead outside an Amman court where he faced charges over an anti-Islam cartoon.

The information ministry said the aim was to preserve “the secrecy of the investigation” and that the blackout applied to both social and traditional media.

Nahed Hattar was hit by three bullets before the alleged assassin was arrested at the scene of Sunday’s shooting in Amman’s central Abdali district, official media said.

The assailant — bearded and robed like a conservative Muslim — shot the a 56-year-old as he made his way up the steps outside the court.

The gunman, identified as a 49-year-old Jordanian, gave himself up to police, a security source said.

A judicial source said on Sunday that the assailant was remanded for 15 days and charged with premeditated murder, meaning that he could face the death penalty if convicted.

The suspect had acted alone and was not linked to any “terrorist” group, a source close to his interrogation said, asking not to be named.

Hattar faced charges over a cartoon posted on his Facebook page, under the title “God of Daesh” (the Islamic State jihadist group), showing a bearded man in bed smoking with two women lying on either side, and addressing God as a servant.