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Journalist harassed by police after publishing interview with subversive leader

(IPYS/IFEX) - On 3 February 2012, journalist Carlos Infante, editor of the magazine "Con Sentido" in Ayacucho, reported to IPYS that he has been the victim of police harassment since he published an interview with Sendero Luminoso member Osmán Morote, who has been imprisoned for his terrorist activities since 1988.

The journalist told IPYS that after he published the interview, which was then reproduced in some national media outlets, the former defense minister, Rafael Rey, criticized the fact that Morote had been interviewed and accused Infante of belonging to Sendero Luminoso (a terrorist group) and using his position as a journalist to act as a sounding board for terrorism.

Rey's statements led the regional government of Ayacucho and other public bodies to withdraw their advertising from Infante's magazine.

Ayacucho intelligence sources told the journalist that the National Anti-Terrorism Department (DINCOTE) is now investigating him for the alleged crime of terrorism and that they have even put up photographs of him in their offices, taken by agents who received the order to follow him. The journalist also said that intelligence agents who were inquiring about the magazine's political slant have visited some "Con Sentido" journalists.

When consulted by IPYS, the head of DINCOTE, Herbert Rosas, neither denied nor admitted that the department is investigating Infante. He said that sometimes journalists who interview terrorists are investigated to pinpoint their true connection with them and that if Infante knows he has not committed a crime he has nothing to worry about.

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