Jordanian writer Nahed Hattar was murdered outside the court where he was on trial for publishing a cartoon

Jordanian writer Nahed Hattar was murdered outside the court where he was on trial for publishing a cartoon
Nahed Hattar. Photo: Facebook Majed Hattar.

The writer Nahed Hattar was shot three times today in front of the court in Amman where he was on trial for publishing a cartoon that the judiciary considered offensive to Islam.

According to the official Petra news agency, the man who shot the writer has been arrested and is being interrogated.

The identity of a suspect was soon revealed, although the various sources disagree on some details.

According to Jordan Times, citing security sources, the suspect is Riad Ismaeel Abdullahde, 49, a known extremist. The same media adds that in a first confession, the alleged killer said he shot Hattar for posting the cartoon on Facebook.

According to Reuters, citing the Petra Agency as a source, the arrested suspect is 39 years old and has a degree in civil engineering. Two witness statements indicate that the attacker was wearing a traditional Arab dishashada, an outfit worn by ultraconservative Sunni Salafists.

Hattar, 55, was arrested in August for posting on his Facebook account, which the authorities considered "blasphemous against Allah" this cartoon which the authorities considered "blasphemous against Allah".

Nahed Hattar's Facebook page was deleted in August, although there is an earlier account with little activity and others of family and friends.

Although some media and agencies claim Hattar as the author of the cartoon, everything seems to point to the fact that it was not drawn by him. There are no references to any cartoon drawn or signed by Hattar, nor to his drawing.


The image, signed with something like "M80" and of which I have so far been unable to find any clues as to its author, is also circulating in English(First image released)

I found others with slight differences in their text, both in the names quoted and in the construction of the phrases, but as is often the case, manipulations and different versions and translations tend to be reproduced until we lose track of the image Hattar initially shared.

God- Good evening, Abu Saleh, do you need anything?
Abu Saleh- Yes, sir. Pour me a glass of wine from there, and tell Gabriel to bring me more cashew nuts.

Then bring me an immortal servant to clean the floor, and take away the dirty dishes.
And don't forget to put a door on the tent (jaima) so that you can knock before entering, praise be to you.

On Friday 12 August, the governor of Amman gave the order to arrest Hattar after declaring him a fugitive after he failed to appear for questioning about the publication of the cartoon on his Facebook page.

The writer was arrested on 14 August and placed under arrest pending a police investigation and spent just under a month in detention. He was released on bail. He was accused of "provoking sectarian conflict and insulting religious feelings and beliefs".

However, different interpretations of Hattar's detention circulated, pointing to political motives.

Hattar had declared himself a supporter of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and had described those who oppose the Assad regime as "terrorists" or "terrorist sympathisers".

Following his arrest, Hattar stated:

"It was not my intention to offend believers, I was trying to expose the image that ISIS terrorists and the Muslim Brotherhood have of God and heaven."

In a second explanation, Hattar said that "as a non-believer" he respected "believers who did not understand the satire behind the cartoon".

However, Hattar's comment about the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood, an organisation founded in 1945 as a political and religious group and whose members have served in the country's parliament and government, could have been considered defamatory, which is an offence under Jordanian law.(Source)

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