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Cancellation of television programme an act of self-censorship, says IPYS

(IPYS/IFEX) - The following is an 8 June 2007 IPYS press release:

PERU: PROGRAMME PULLED AFTER DISEMMINATING INFORMATION OF PUBLIC INTEREST

On 28 May 2007, Panamericana Televisión cancelled the programme "Qué país", hosted by journalist Beto Ortiz, alleging that its ratings were low, although other company spokespersons declared that (the action was taken because) Ortiz, who had been hired to host an entertainment programme, entered the area of political journalism when he broadcast a tape recording by Vladimiro Montesinos, in which he accuses the editor of the newspaper "La República", Gustavo Mohme Seminario, of having collaborated with the National Intelligence Service (SIN), directed by Montesinos during the rule of Alberto Fujimori.

Mohme Seminario responded to this accusation by pointing out that his contact with Montesinos was limited to two visits to the SIN headquarters during 1997, while he was the paper's manager, to discuss matters that did not compromise the newspaper's editorial line.

Even though IPYS does not agree with the way in which Ortiz presented the accusation, it considers Panamericana Televisión's decision to be a measure that was intended to prevent discussion of a matter of public interest that the TV station did not wish to tackle. The programme's cancellation met with the public disapproval of Mohme Seminario himself, who also presides over the Peruvian Press Council (Consejo de la Prensa Peruana). The subject was discussed openly by other media.

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