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Jordanian cartoonist Emad Hajjaj arrested over ‘offensive’ UAE drawing

Leading Jordanian cartoonist Emad Hajjaj was arrested and charged on Thursday over offensive’ UAE drawing.

The 52-year-old Hajjaj, a popular cartoonist in Jordan and in the Arab region,  published a drawing on his Facebook page on Wednesday, and hours later he was arrested by the authorities and was taken into custody for questioning.

The cartoon posted on his Facebook was titled “Israel asks America not to sell F-35 planes to the Emirates”.

The drawing shows Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan holding a dove with the Israeli flag painted on it, spitting on the face of the top UAE official who is also known as MBZ.

With “Spit-35” written in Arabic covering the UAE leader’s cheek.

A woman looks at a caricature by Jordanian cartoonist Emad Hajjaj depicting the leader of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, holding a dove with Israel’s flag on it spitting in his face with Arabic writing referring to Israel’s opposition to the sale of US F-35 aircrafts to the UAE, on August 27, 2020. – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has denied reports that the UAE-Israel deal hinges on the sale of US F-35 stealth fighter jets to the Emirates, saying he opposes a move that could reduce Israel’s strategic edge in the region, following the UAE’s move to normalise relations with Israel. (Photo by – / AFP)

He has been charged with seeking to undermine Jordan’s relations with a “friendly country” after publishing a drawing criticising the Israel-UAE peace deal. And if found guilty, Hajjaj can face up to five years in jail.

According to AFP, the Amman general prosecutor referred Hajjaj to the state security court, a military tribunal, over a cartoon deemed “offensive for the United Arab Emirates”.

“The prosecutor charged Hajjaj of carrying out acts and publishing material aimed at undermining relations with a friendly country and referred him to the state security court,” the source said.

Saman Siddiqui

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