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Madrid President Advocates Censorship of Embarrassing Photos

[All links lead to Spanish-language pages unless otherwise noted.]

Madrid regional president Ignacio González voiced his support during a radio interview for establishing “certain limits” on the publication of compromising images in the media, saying that “you have to be careful of the damage to people and to institutions”.

González, who was interviewed on Radio de Libertad Digital (Digital Freedom Radio) on April 4, 2013, made the claim for censorship only days after Spanish newspaper El País published a series of 20-year-old photos in which the regional president of Galicia, Alberto Núñez Feijóo, appears alongside notorious drug lord and current prison inmate Marcial Dorado.

Both González and Feijóo are members of the conservative ruling Popular Party (PP).

Spanish newspaper El Confidencial printed Feijóo's statement on the scandal:

Dije siempre que detrás de esas fotos no había nada, y que esas fotos eran eso, unas fotos, y dije también que estaba dispuesto a seguir explicando y explicar todo lo que se me plantease. De hecho, el próximo miércoles voy a comparecer en el Parlamento.

I always said that there was nothing to those photos, and that those photos were exactly that, just some photos, and I also said that I was ready to continue explaining and to explain everything that has come up. In fact, next Wednesday I am going to appear before Parliament.

It was this “type of compromising images” that the regional president of Madrid was referring to when he suggested censoring the media in favor of preserving the reputation of government institutions. This becomes the latest attack against freedom of the press in Spain, which has increasingly found itself the target of Spanish politicians.

Reaction on social media was almost immediate, becoming a trending topic on Twitter in a matter of minutes:

@ROMARIOIDEGA Ignacio González se le olvida algo llamado: Democracia. Que implica libertad de prensa.
@ROMARIOIDEGIgnacio González is forgetting something called: Democracy. Which implies freedom of the press.
@tOnnijimenez¿Ignacio González donde quedará la libertad de expresión?
@tOnnijimenezIgnacio González where will freedom of expression stand?
@LaMariMalaDice Ignacio González que lo de la libertad de expresión no le mola nada. El llama “límites” a lo q los demás llamamos CENSURA #marcaespaña
@LaMariMala: Ignacio González says that this whole business of freedom of expression is not cool at all with him. He calls it “limits” for what the rest call CENSORSHIP #Spanishbrand
@CristianMas86Ignacio González es más de poner límites a la prensa que destapa la corrupción que a los propios corruptos. Muy #MarcaEspaña todo.
@CristianMas86Ignacio González is more about putting limits on the press which uncovers corruption than on the actual corrupt people. Completely #SpanishBrand.

*Thumbnail photo courtesy of PP Madrid and reproduced under licence CC BY-3.0.

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