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Highest electoral court says fining media for "premature electoral propaganda" unconstitutional; newspaper and radio station fined in similar case

(RSF/IFEX) - Reporters Without Borders welcomes the Superior Electoral Tribunal's ruling on 2 July 2008 that a Saõ Paulo electoral court violated the constitution on 16 June when it fined the "Folha de São Paulo" daily and the magazine "Veja" 21,000 reals (8,500 euros) for "premature electoral propaganda."

The two publications were sanctioned for carrying interviews with Marta Suplicy, a prospective candidate for mayor of Saõ Paulo in next October's municipal elections, who was also fined. The prosecutor's office of the Saõ Paulo regional electoral court had already requested the quashing of the sanctions.

However, in a separate development on 1 July, the Rio de Janeiro regional electoral court fined "O Debate" daily newspaper and Rádio 95 FM, a station based in Macaé (Rio de Janeiro state), 20,000 reals for interviewing federal parliamentarian Sílvio Lopes Teixeira.

Updates the "Veja" and "Folha de São Paulo" case arising from publication of the Suplicy interviews:

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