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Ban on publication of violent photographs lifted

(IPYS-Venezuela/IFEX) - On 19 August 2010, Judge Wiliam Páez revoked a decision that forbade all print media from publishing violent images. However, the measure still applies to the "El Nacional" and "Tal Cual" newspapers.

According to a statement issued by "El Nacional" on its web page, on 19 August they received an official letter that explained the partial change in the decision against them: "On reviewing the records, (the decision) should apply to images only and not information and advertisements, because the case was initiated in relation to the publication of a photograph on the 'El Nacional' front page". Therefore, the newspaper can publish information about violent cases but not images.

Larry Devoe, the general director of legal services at the Ombudsman's Office, made the announcement during an interview for the state-owned television station, Venezolana de Televisión, that Judge Páez had lifted the order that prevented print media from publishing images of violent events for a period of 30 days.

Devoe explained that the sanction still applies to "Tal Cual" because the newspaper, knowing that a precautionary measure had been requested because of the photograph published by "El Nacional", "insisted and published the photograph again".

These legal decisions originated as a result of "El Nacional" publishing a photograph on its front page on 13 August in which a group of cadavers can be seen inside the Bello Monte morgue. The photograph was then published by "Tal Cual" on its 16 August cover page. As a result, the 12th Mediation and Verification of Children and Adolescents' Protection Tribunal issued the ban on publication of violent images. The prohibition extended to all print media.

IPYS Venezuela welcomes the judge's decision and hopes the measure will be completely revoked.

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