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Jordan arrests journalists over 'offensive' Jesus image

Mohammed al-Wakeel, who runs the Al Wakeel News website, was accused along with an editor of inciting sectarian strife.

Picture: Supplied.

AMMAN, Jordan - Jordan on Monday arrested a publisher and an editor at a news website over an image of Jesus deemed "offensive" to Christians, a judicial source said.

Mohammed al-Wakeel, who runs the Al Wakeel News website, was accused along with an editor of inciting sectarian strife, a charge that could land them in jail for between six months and three years.

The website had earlier published a retouched version of Leonardo da Vinci's 15th-century mural painting of "The Last Supper" that sparked widespread controversy on social media.

The original painting, which depicts Jesus' final meal with his disciples ahead of his crucifixion, is highly symbolic to Christians.

The altered version shows celebrity Turkish chef Nusret Gokce, who goes by the name Salt Bae, standing behind Jesus and doing his famous salt-sprinkling gesture.

One of the disciples has Jesus's face tattooed on his leg.

Following the outcry online, Wakeel apologised and removed the image, saying it was an unintended "mistake" by a trainee editor.

The publisher, who also hosts several radio talk shows in Jordan, was later summoned for questioning at a cyber-crimes unit.

Christians make up around 6% of the country's 6.6 million population.

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