Cartoon who almost put Jordanian cartoonist Emad Hajjaj in prison
On 23 December 2020, the Criminal Court in Amman (Jordan) decided to terminate the legal proceedings against the cartoonist. The Public Prosecutor’s Office now has 60 days from this date to appeal the decision.
The court agreed to drop the charges of “contempt for a president of a foreign country against the provisions of Article 122/1 of the Penal Code” against the cartoonist for publishing this cartoon entitled: “Israel calls on the United States not to sell F-35 fighters to the Emirates” which ironically echoed the so-called “peace” agreement between the two countries and featured Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed, alias MBZ, holding a dove with the Israeli flag. It spits “F-35” in his face.
Emad Hajjaj was arrested on Wednesday 25 August 2020 and released on 1 September for this joke about the agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, which was considered “insulting” to the country. The cartoon was published in Al Araby Al Jadeed (New Arab), a pan-Arab media based in London. The cartoonist faced a possible sentence of up to 5 years in prison.
Cartooning for Peace welcomes the court’s decision to uphold the principles of freedom of expression enshrined in the Constitution of the Kingdom of Jordan and wishes the cartoonist a speedy and final resolution of the case. The association recalls that this good news should not make us forget that, at the beginning of this year, many cartoonists around the world are still being threatened, prosecuted or sentenced to prison for the cartoons they drew.