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Japanese prosecutor suspends contempt proceedings against journalist

Reporters Without Borders takes note of prosecutor Eiji Masuhara's decision to suspend "criminal contempt" proceedings against freelance journalist Mari Takenouchi in connection with her coverage of the aftermath of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster.

The proceedings were initiated as a result of a complaint by Ryoko Ando, the head of an organization called Ethos, after Takenouchi tweeted that its efforts to get people to return to live in contaminated areas were an "experiment on human beings."

"The decision to suspend the proceedings against the journalist Mari Takenouchi is obviously encouraging, but we persist in calling on the authorities to abandon them altogether and not just suspend them," Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Christophe Deloire said.

The prosecutor urged Takenouchi to continue her work and even wished her "good luck" with it. Takenouchi told Reporters Without Borders that her goal now was to "save the children living in contaminated areas and suffering from thyroid cancer."

Japan is ranked 59th out of 180 countries in the 2014 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index.

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