Former Jordan PM drops Facebook case against satirist

Former Jordan PM drops Facebook case against satirist
2 min read
17 September, 2015
Omar Zorba, a well known satirist who was arrested after being sued for defamation by a former Jordanian PM, was to be released Thursday after the lawsuit was dropped.
Zorba's post was shared by over 3,200 Facebook users [Twitter]
A popular Jordanian comedian was arrested on Tuesday after the son of a former senior official filed a lawsuit against him for a post the satirist made on social media that criticised his extravagant wedding party.

Although Omar Zorba, 30, did not mention the name of Amjad al-Dahabi, the son former prime minister Nader al-Dahabi, the Facebook post alone was enough for Dahabi to file suit against the comedian for liable.

“Half a million Jordanian dinars ($705,200) for the son of former minister’s wedding party in the most luxurious five star hotel in Amman – the preparations alone cost 300,000 dinars ($423,100),” the comedian wrote in a post which gathered over 44,000 likes.

The arrest was strongly commended by Zorba’s large fan base - 300,000 people on Facebook and over 3,000 on Twitter, as well as by human rights groups.

“What about freedom of expression? Up until day I still haven’t seen it. How much will the fine be for this post 1,000 dinars or even more? We are all Omar Zorba,” tweeted Amr Nasser. 

The Arab Network for Human Rights released a statement on Wednesday denouncing the imprisonment of Zorba and called on Amman’s public prosecutor to release him. 

On Wednesday evening, the former PM said that he and his son were dropping the case against Zorba .

“Tomorrow morning me and my son will go to the prosecutor’s office and drop our charges. I will also insist on taking the release order to Zorba myself,” Dahabi said on his Facebook page. 

Dahabi added that he would drive him home and even add him as a friend on Facebook.

Dahabi posted a picture on Facebook on Thursday of him with Zorba and his mother at their home in the Jabal al-Hussein district in Amman.