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Court in Tocantins overturns decision to censor 84 media outlets

(ABRAJI/IFEX) - A preliminary injunction that censored 84 mass media outlets in the state of Tocantins has been overturned three days after it was instituted. The request for the injunction was signed by the Força do Povo alliance, which supports the candidacy of Carlos Gaguim (PMDB) for re-election as governor.

On 24 September 2010, Judge Liberato Póvoa, of the Regional Electoral Court of Tocantins (TRE-TO), had prohibited the publication of information on an investigation into irregularities in public acquisitions that mentioned the governor. However, the TRE-TO later overturned the decision, meaning that eight newspapers, 11 television channels, five websites, 40 community radio stations and 20 commercial radio stations did not have to abide by the earlier ruling.

The ban had been requested by the 11 party Força de Povo alliance that supports Gaguim. The preliminary injunction had established a daily penalty of US$6,000 for any media outlet contravening the order.

On the morning of 27 September, Gaguim's lawyers requested that the TRE-TO decision be repealed. Gaguim asked that the restrictions be applied only to electoral advertisements on radio and television stations. The TRE-TO overturned the preliminary injunction by four votes to two.

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