Political cartoons: then and now
Newletter 8, August 2020

Jordanian cartoonist Emad Hajjaj arrested


Image by Gianluca Costantini

This report is taken from Cartooning for Peace:

Renowned Jordanian cartoonist Emad Hajjaj was arrested by the Jordanian authorities for a cartoon related to the signing of the peace agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, published by Al Araby and subsequently posted on the artist’s website and social networks. The publication on social networks has since disappeared.

Screen Shot 2020-08-27 at 17.56.02Screenshot from AlAraby, where the cartoon is published. The text in the cartoon reads: 'Israel asks the United States not to sell F35 to the United Arab Emirates'

According to Nidal Mansour, head of the Jordanian Center for the Protection and Freedom of Journalists, the cartoonist was arrested for obstructing the Jordanian Information Systems and Cybercrime Law of 2015. An arrest that Emad Hajjaj’s brother, Osama Hajjaj, a cartoonist himself, confirmed. According to Reporters Without Borders, the publications of online newspapers or those of citizen journalists on social networks are punishable by prison sentences and lead to pre-trial detention in case of prosecution under this law. The cartoonist was taken to a court this morning to be heard.

We join Cartooning for Peace in calling for his immediate release. No artist can be arrested for the realization of a cartoon.


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