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Journalists criticize Mexican law limiting crime reporting

[JURIST] Journalists on Friday criticized the passage of a new law which restricts crime reporting within the state of Sinaloa [official website, in Spanish], located in northwestern Mexico. The legislation prohibits journalists from documenting a crime scene using audio or video [BBC report], essentially requiring journalists to rely on information approved by the Prosecutor's office within the region. Journalists specifically take issue with the limitations the law imposes on their ability to address and report the large issues with drug cartels [LA Times report] in the Sinaloa region. The law was recently signed by Sinaloa Governor Mario Lopez Valdez [official website] for the purpose of preserving crime scenes for Mexican authorities. The law is scheduled to take effect in October of 2014.

Journalism is one of the most dangerous jobs in the world, with more than 1,000 journalists killed since 1992 and more than 200 journalists imprisoned [CPJ factsheets]. Earlier this month Amnesty International reported mounting evidence of abductions and violence against activists, protesters and journalists [JURIST report] in eastern Ukraine. Also this month a Myanmar court sentenced four journalists and the chief executive of the Unity Journal [JURIST report] to 10-year prison sentences and hard labor for publishing a story alleging the Myanmar military had seized land in Magwe for the purpose of producing chemical weapons. In June an Egyptian court sentenced three Al Jazeera journalists to prison [JURIST report] for reporting false news and aiding the Muslim Brotherhood; three other journalists were sentenced in absentia. In May HRW called on Myanmar to pass more protective media laws [JURIST report] and end arbitrary arrests of journalists.

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