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Police seize newspapers, detain journalist in Mato Grosso do Sul

(ABRAJI/IFEX) - On 12 September 2010, police officers seized about 850 copies of the weekly newspaper "Impacto Campo Grande", in Mato Grosso do Sul, midwestern Brazil, The reason given for the seizure was that the paper contained some negative reports about governor André Puccinelli, who is also a candidate for reelection. Mário Pinto, the journalist responsible for the newspaper's distribution, was taken to a local police station.

"I was approached by police officers who took me under arrest on charges of 'disobedience'", said the journalist. According to Pinto, there is a temporary order prohibiting the publication of terms with negative connotations involving the governor. The paper could be fined US$28,000 per issue if it does not respect the order.

According to the journalist, the newspaper had only reprinted articles already published in the local press, including material about the arrest of the mayor of Dourados, Ari Artuzi, during the Federal Police operation "Urugano". The article entitled "Will Puccinelli's ally maneuver the elections from jail?" indicated the mayor supports the governor's candidacy.

The journalist was kept for about seven hours at the police station. He says he was interrogated and released after signing a document.

ABRAJI contacted Puccinelli's press office by phone and e-mail, but received no answer.

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