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Civil servant blocks journalist's attempt to broadcast news

(Globe International/IFEX) - On 16 January 2008, a meeting was held at the State Center for Civil Registration in Bayan-Ulgii to discuss printing equipment that had been out of commission for a month. During the meeting, responsibility for the problem was placed on I. Lazat, the officer in charge of passport issues, and finance officer B. Saule.

Journalist Khuangan Ainur wrote a two-minute report on the incident and submitted it to the local radio station; however, the bulletin was not broadcast. It transpired that B. Saule had approached the station and falsely told staff there that the laying of responsibility had been revoked.

In taking this action, B. Saule violated Article 139 of Mongolia's Criminal Law, which states: "A person shall not interrupt the lawful and professional activities of a journalist in order to disseminate or not to disseminate any information which affects his or her own or other's interests."

"Interrupting the lawful and professional activities of a journalist" includes searching for, collecting and distributing information. B. Saule deliberately interrupted the distribution of information, and thus has committed an illegal act.

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