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Tue 2 Jun 2015 02:57 PM

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Qatari editor said to quit after printing sexual image

Editor of Al Sharq newspaper also reportedly fires staff responsible for printing image of a woman’s hands covered in images from the Kama Sutra

Qatari editor said to quit after printing sexual image
Jaber Al-Harami, Editor-in-Chief of Al-Sharq newspaper.

The editor of a popular Qatari newspaper has reportedly resigned and fired other members of staff over the publication of a controversial image resembling sexual scenes.

Editor in chief of Arabic daily Al Sharq Jaber Al Harmi quit after the newspaper published the photo of a woman’s hands covered in traditional henna tattoos depicting scenes from the Kama Sutra, an ancient Indian Hindu text on human sexual behaviour by Vātsyāyana. Written in Sanskrit, the text includes practical advice on sexual intercourse.

The image was published in Monday’s health section above an article warning of the dangers of henna, AFP said.

It showed the woman’s palms decorated in numerous tiny tattoos showing a couple in controversial poses.

The image was considered offensive in Qatar, a conservative Islamic state.

Al Harmi said in a statement on the newspaper’s website, it was “a completely unintended mistake” and the “worst” he had known in his 25-year career in journalism. He said he took full responsibility and “offered my resignation out of moral responsibility”.

It is not yet known if the resignation has been accepted by the paper’s bosses.

“All apologies are not enough for such a serious mistake, which occurred by publishing morally inappropriate images,” Al Harmi said in the online statement.

“Our values and principles provide a red line that cannot be breached and so I presented my resignation to the board.

“This tragic incident revealed to us the extent of the adherence of our community to religion, values and morals.”

However, Al Harmi also fired “all those behind this mistake”.