Swiss media have taken privacy rulings to a new extreme – after they blurred out a police photo of a wanted bank robber with a gun in one hand and a sack of cash in the other – because it interfered with his right to privacy.

The photo had been issued by Swiss police who wanted aid from the public in catching the man.

The move has infuriated Swiss MP Yannick Buttet (34) who has filed a motion demanding a change of policy from state TV station TSR that used the picture on its main news bulletin “Journal de 19h 30″.

He said: “I don’t know about privacy but it certainly infringes on good basic common sense.”

But TSR speaker Christophe Minder refused to budge, saying: “We have decided never to show the faces of those involved in a crime, unless there is an immediate physical danger to the public.”

He was backed up by the Swiss TV and Radio Association (SRG) where spokesman Daniel Steiner said: “With regards to the current privacy laws we do not make public images of people needed for identification purposes unless there is an immediate risk.”

But an angry Buttet said: “If a masked gunman is not a danger to the public, then I don’t know what is. What they did was stupid and they just don’t want to admit it.”

Buttet has won support from 21 colleagues, with only left wing politicians refusing to agree – saying the right to privacy must remain paramount.

Politician Roger Nordmann said: “Innocent until proven guilty is valid for every suspect, until he is convicted of course.”

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One Response to Swiss media blurred suspect’s face in ‘wanted photo

  1. George says:

    Clearly, these media enterprises do not have the capacity to make these determinations; decisions like these are clearly outside their skill set. Consequently, theses decisions and associated liability should not be theirs but rather the police force itself or the judiciary. That, “public safety trumps personal privacy”, seems self-evident. This decision is an indictment of the moral authority of those who support it.

    My $0,02

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