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Journalist freed after being illegally imprisoned for defamation

(RSF/IFEX) - A court in the Amazonian state of Acre released Antônio Muniz, a local TV commentator and columnist for the daily newspaper "O Rio Branco", on 4 December 2009, two days after he was jailed in connection with a 2002 conviction on a charge of defaming a senator.

"The court's decision was necessary because press offences have been decriminalised," Reporters Without Borders said. "We are shocked that the court nonetheless forced Muniz to appear in handcuffs at a closed-door hearing, violating federal court resolutions. The local court clearly found it hard to recognise its mistake."

Imprisonment for press offences has been abolished in Brazil as a result of a Federal Supreme Court decision on 30 April repealing the 1967 press law.

Read RSF's letter to the Brazilian government on this case

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