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Court prohibits two newspapers in Bolívar from printing images showing blood

(IPYS/IFEX) - On 20 July 2007, the Constitutional Bench of the Supreme Court of Justice issued a preventive measure that forbids newspapers "El Progreso" and "El Luchador", both from the state of Bolívar, in southern Venezuela, from publishing photographs of accidents or murders in which blood may be seen.

This surprising restriction is a response to the demands of the individual citizen Gilberto Rúa, who claimed that the colour photographs of accidents and murders published by both papers cause him panic. Rúa presented his complaint at the Second First Instance Court for Civil, Mercantile, Agrarian and Traffic related matters of the State of Bolívar, which referred it to the Constitutional Bench in May.

The Minister for Communications, Willian Lara, supported the legal ruling. The editorial line of both newspapers favour the government.

IPYS is concerned over this measure, which restricts freedom of information by establishing prior censorship on these newspapers.

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