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Jordan imposes media blackout after writer killed

AFP , Monday 26 Sep 2016
Protest against Nahed Hattar
Relatives of Jordanian writer Nahed Hattar hold up signs protesting his death, in front of Jordanian Prime Ministry in Amman, Jordan on Monday, Sept. 26, 2016 (Photo: AP)
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Jordan's judiciary Monday slapped a media blackout on the murder of a Christian writer who was gunned down 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.

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