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Mexico13 June 2005

Guadalajara university pulls gay radio programme

Reporters Without Borders today called on the autonomous university of the western city of Guadalajara to reinstate Guadalajara Gay Radio, a programme presented by Miguel Galán that was taken off the air by the university authorities on 27 May.

"It is hard to imagine a radio programme still being censored for such archaic reasons as sexual discrimination in the 21st century," the press freedom organisation said. "This type of press freedom violation is a dangerous step backwards."

Noting that the university is supposed act as a "guardian of moral values such as tolerance and respect for others," Reporters Without Borders said those in charge of its radio programming should restore Galán’s programme to "protect everyone’s press freedom."

Guadalajara University Radio director Carlos Ramírez Powell phoned Galán on 27 May and said his superiors had told him to terminate Galán’s weekly programme as part of a content overhaul to be carried out for political reasons. He gave other reasons for pulling the programme, in particular, the way Galán spoke on the air to Carlos Barba, the head of the state human rights commission. Galán had accused Barba in an interview of being "over-cautious" in his approach to a prostitute’s murder.

"This is all very strange because I talked to Carlos Barba and he isn’t the one who asked for the programme to be stopped," Galán said. "I think the real reason is that my programme upset people (...) The subjects covered and even its name bothered some people at the university (...) I think it was a very personal decision taken by just one individual. It’s not Guadalajara university, because the university never censored me."

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