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Argentines protest media law change, fear censorship

Friday, December 18, 2015 - 01:28

Supporters of Argentina's former president protest fearing new conservative leader Mauricio Macri will change media ownership laws. Natasha Howitt reports.

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Supporters of Argentina's former president Cristina Fernandez protest outside the country's Congress, demanding their new leader keep the country's media laws in place. The laws, they say, protect against media monopolies. They fear censorship if restrictions are loosened. The protest comes one week after Mauricio Macri took power vowing to revamp the struggling economy. He has already pushed for changes to currency exchange and export laws. Some fear media regulations are next in line. The country's former foreign minister was at the protest, saying the laws defended democracy. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) FORMER ARGENTINE FOREIGN MINISTER, JORGE TAIANA, SAYING: "We feel that we have to defend some major achievements that have been accomplished over the years, like those that are related to liberty, democracy and pluralism. We feel this is all being threatened. A clear example of this is the media law. They (government) have evidently said in various ways they are not going to renew it, and for us it's a very important element of the democratic advances of these past few years." Fernandez's anti-monopoly media law was passed in 2009 and upheld by the Argentine Supreme Court last year - it limits the number of TV and radio licenses that can be controlled by one company. Critics say it was a thinly veiled attempt to punish powerful opposition voices and was aimed at stifling dissent.

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Argentines protest media law change, fear censorship

Friday, December 18, 2015 - 01:28