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Journalist now in Chile

(FORJA/IFEX) - Journalist Alejandra Matus arrived very early on the morning of 15 July 2001. She left Chile in April 1999 and had been living in exile in the United States ever since a judge ordered her detention and prohibited the circulation of her book ""El Libro Negro de la Justicia Chilena" (The Black Book of Chilean Justice).

The journalist said she was happy to return to Chile after the Santiago Appeals Court annulled the detention order against her.

"Today is an important day for journalists and for press freedom in Chile," the journalist stated.

In Matus' first public appearance upon arrival, she announced that she would file an appeal with the Santiago Appeals court, in order to have circulation of her polemic book authorised.

On 6 July, the Fifth Chamber of the Santiago Court of Appeals repealed the arrest order against the journalist, upon accepting the appeal lodged on behalf of Matus. Nevertheless her book's circulation continues to be banned. The banning resulted from the legal action filed by Supreme Court Minister Servando Jordán, who alledged that the text contained insults against him. Jordán had recurred to the now abolished Article 6(b) of the State Security Law (ley de Seguridad del Estado).

Matus will only be in the country seven days

At around midday, accompanied by her brother and lawyer, Jean Pierre Matus, the journalist lodged the judicial action at the Appeals Court in order for "El Libro Negro de la Justicia Chilena" to be able to be sold in Chile.

Matus will only be in Chile for seven days, since the necessary conditions for her definitive stay have not yet been established. The journalist explained that some of the reasons for this are the continued prosecution against her and the prohibition of her book, which is still in force.

"We have taken a huge step forward, in the sense that there is no longer a detention order against me, it is a very important step but this battle is not over yet," she said.

During the time that she will remain in the country, Matus will carry out various activities. The most important of these is a meeting she will have with Secretary-General Claudio Huepe.

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