Court prohibits magazine's circulation at mayor's request in Brazil

The judge of Nova Lima in Belo Horizonte, Brazil prohibited the circulation of the magazine Viver Brasil, reported the Brazilian Association of Investigative Journalism (Abraji).

The city's mayor, Carlinho Rodrigues, issued the complaint when the magazine ran a report alleging misconduct by his administration, said Observatório da Imprensa.

According to Judge Adriana Rabelo, the magazine engaged in an "abuse of press freedom" when it attacked the "honor and public image" of the politician, reported Estado de São Paulo. "We're shocked by this situation," said Homero Dolabella, editor-in-chief of the VB Comunicação group that publishes the magazine. "It's a blatant case of censorship."

Abraji called the decision preventative censorship. "In Brazil, criminal as well as civil laws are available to protect damaged reputations and privacy. These are the mechanisms that a citizen should use when they're offended by a report," Abraji said in a statement.

Recently, a court in Rio Grande do Sul prohibited the media company Grupo RBS from identifying a councilman accused of misusing public funds. Brazilian courts have been criticized for operating as instruments of censorship in the South American country.