IAPA Criticizes Censorship in Argentina of a Reporter in a Court Trial


Miami (November 23, 2022) - The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) criticizes that a court in Argentina has prohibited a reporter from continuing to cover an oral trial where a case of public interest is being heard. The organization called attention to the fact that judges can decide what a journalist can report, which sets a negative precedent for press freedom.

Oral Court 13, in the city of Buenos Aires, prevented journalist Gustavo Grabia, of Infobae, from attending the hearings being followed against Rafa Di Zeo, former leader of the barra brava -group of fans of the Boca Juniors soccer club- and two other people accused as instigators of two murders in 2013. Judges Diego Leif Guardia, Adolfo Calvete, and Enrique Gamboa accepted the arguments of Di Zeo's lawyer that the journalist's publications could influence witnesses in the case.

IAPA President Michael Greenspon and the chairman of the Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information, Carlos Jornet, regretted the court's decision, which they considered "an act of discrimination and censorship of the free practice of journalism," especially when it involves public judicial proceedings.

Greenspon, Global Head, NYT Licensing & Print Innovation, The New York Times Company, United States, and Jornet, the editor of La Voz del Interior, Argentina, warned that the decision "creates a negative precedent for press freedom by granting a court the power to decide what or who is authorized to cover matters of public interest."

Infobae denounced that the court did not inform it of the lawyers' request, thus violating its right to express its opinion, "and defined orally without recording the decision in writing." According to Infobae, a court can only revoke the public trial modality "for security, public order or moral reasons." In the case of journalist Grabia, who has vast experience in the coverage of trials on soccer violence for 22 years, the media did not find any violation during his work performance.

IAPA is a non-profit organization dedicated to defending and promoting freedom of the press and expression in the Americas. It comprises more than 1,300 publications from the western hemisphere; and is based in Miami, Florida, United States.