Writer shot dead in front of court before trial over ‘offensive’ cartoon

A prominent activist was shot dead on the steps of a court on Sunday as he was about to go on trial for sharing a cartoon said to be offensive to Islam. Christian writer Nahed Hattar was hit three times in the head as he entered the building in the Abdali district of the Jordanian capital Amman. His assailant, said to be a religiously motivated Jordanian in his 40s, was tackled by security forces and arrested at the scene.

If you celebrate the death of #NahedHattar you are a zealot, and precisely what is wrong with the world. This is not my Jordan.

Twitter user Tamar

Hattar, a supporter of Syrian president Bashar al Assad, had been arrested in August after he shared a caricature that depicted a bearded man in heaven smoking in bed with women, asking God to bring him wine and cashews. Many conservative Muslim Jordanians considered it offensive and against their religion. He said the cartoon was posted to illustrate the twisted religious views of Islamic State extremists and was deleted after the backlash.

Cousin of Nahed Hattar tells me family blames Ministry of Interior for failing to protect Nahed as he appeared at court today

Sara Williams, on Twitter