URUGUAY The editor and manager of the daily La Republica of Montevideo were jailed May 23 after being found guilty of violating two clauses in the 1934 Penal Code, worded in general terms but invoked for the first time ever against the press. The two were freed June 7 after the IAPA, Uruguayan journalist organizations and most media in the country protested the sentence. The incident served to demonstrate that legislation now on the books is potentially harmful to press freedom. On June 12, the executive branch issued a decree setting new import duties for newsprint and appointing a commission to oversee observance. The commission was empowered to set, and raise or lower, quota levels at will. The action was seen as arbitrary and contrary to the concept of full free trade governing imports in Uruguay. No other imports are subject to quota or duty. News organizations and at least a dozen publications immediately filed a legal writ seeking to have the decree repealed, on the grounds that it is unlawful and creates restrictions of press freedom by limiting access to essential raw materials. After this week the government began to reject applications to import newsprint, while the legal appeals to revoke the the decree were being processed before the executive branch. Several trials involving news media are at various stages. While filing lawsuits against the press was threatening to become a veritable industry, the pace has now slowed. However, there is still a risk that attitude might change and that existing legislation could be used to undermine press freedom, to the detrminent of publications whose cases still under way. The government has continued to demonstrate it intends to use technical criteria in the placement of official advertising, but some state agency directors and city managers continue to place official advertising as if it were a matter of handing out reward or punishment. Sometimes certain media are excluded entirely because of political motives of self-interest. This is a particularly sensitive issue because the state generates much more advertising revenue than any other source.