Weekly editor surrenders to face Venezuelan charges

The editor of a Venezuelan weekly newspaper has surrendered himself to authorities in connection with a controversial photomontage that recently led to the temporary shutdown of the paper.

Media reports say Leocenis Garcia, the editor of 6to Poder, surrendered Tuesday at a military post in Venezuela’s Zulia state.

The move comes one day after a court lifted an order that had prevented the paper from being published. The lawyer representing the publication said the court forbade the paper from publishing any images insulting women or public officials.

The court’s initial decision came after the paper published an article suggesting that some high-ranking women officials were part of a cabaret directed by President Hugo Chávez. A photomontage depicted those women as cabaret dancers.

The paper’s top executive, Dinorah Giron, was arrested but subsequently released. Ms. Giron and Garcia are charged with incitement to hatred, insulting a public official, and publicly offending women.

The Committee to Protect Journalists has said that under Venezuela’s criminal code, the charges of incitement to hatred and insulting a public official carry prison sentences and high fines. The committee also says the Chávez administration has used all the tools of power to silence critical news media.

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