Wednesday, August 25, 2004

MORE ATTACKS ON FREE SPEECH; can we blame John Ashcroft for this, too?
In the wake of the furore over pictures of his female ministers in two glossy magazines, Spanish prime minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero was embroiled Wednesday in another row about photographs – this time of his daughters.

Zapatero and his wife Sonsoles Espinosa sent an urgent fax to the magazine Diez Minutos telling the editor of their anger over pictures of their two girls on their summer holiday in Minorca.

The two girls, aged eight and ten years old, are featured in a three-page spread in the magazine, which the family did not agree to.

Headlined 'Zapatero, his first holiday as president', the piece carries colour pictures of the two girls.

According to government sources, Zapatero and his wife claim the pictures have "compromised the right to privacy of the two minors".

The premier and his wife expressed their "deep unhappiness" with the publication of the pictures.

Zapatero thanked all the newspapers and magazines which had respected the privacy of his family during their holiday in Minorca.

But sources added that Zapatero was determined to "exercise the right to privacy of minors".
It's true that the Spanish legislation is quite restrictive and normally demands the faces of the children in published pictures to be blurred. I haven't seen the actual magazine (a kind of quite low-brow glossy), only the reproduction in one newspaper. The pictures were taken from some distance but in a public venue, the sea; it's the typical shot of a family enjoying a swim around the small yacht they have been using during their holidays. So I'm not sure of the law protecting the privacy of minors applies here, but it seems too much of a fuss for a minor incident.