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Media Rights Group Concerned About Charge Facing Venezuelan TV Reporter

The international media rights group, Reporters Without Borders, says it is concerned about a decision by Venezuelan authorities to charge a television journalist with defaming the country's Supreme Court.

The rights group said in a statement Friday that the state prosecutor's office filed an "insult" charge against Venevision TV journalist Napoleon Bravo Wednesday. The group says he faces 15 months in prison, if convicted.

The organization says the charge against Bravo, whose real name is Jose Ovidio Rodriguez Cuesta, stems from a September 2004 broadcast on his program 24 Hours in which he criticized Venezuela's entire judicial system.

The Bravo case is the first to be tried under a new Venezuelan law that increases sanctions for press offenses.

The media rights group says the case demonstrates the law will seriously compromise press freedom in Venezuela.