TIME Magazine recently named Journalists as their ‘Person of the Year’ for 2018.
It comes in a year when journalists were killed in the mass shooting at the Capital Gazette in Maryland in June, two Reuters reporters jailed in Myanmar after investigating the massacre of Rohingya Muslims and Maria Ressa, a journalist in the Philippines facing tax evasion charges that she has called “political harassment”.
Just a matter of days after the famous magazine announced their winner, Jordan’s Al Wakeel News website published an altered image of Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper depicting living meme Salt Bae performing his signature move over Jesus’s shoulder.
It’s a funny image (and a smart joke about internet obsession), but it did not sit well with Jordan’s government. The image was deemed offensive to Christians and the website’s publisher, Mohammed al-Wakeel, and an editor, were accused of inciting sectarian strife.
It’s not something the Jordanian government found amusing and both the journalists involved have been arrested, and their bail appeals denied.
Unfortunately for the journalists involved it’s a crime that could have serious repercussions. They face a charge of inciting sectarian strife, which carries a prison term of six months to three years.