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Swiss magazine censured over Roma boy cover

GENEVA (AP) – Switzerland’s press watchdog has upheld a complaint against a magazine that used a picture of a Roma boy waving a gun to illustrate a story about alleged threats from Gypsy gangs.

The Swiss Press Council said Tuesday that Zurich weekly Weltwoche was guilty of “distortion” and “discrimination” for publishing the image on its cover above the headline “The Roma are coming: raids in Switzerland.”

The picture taken in 2008 by Italian photographer Livio Mancini actually depicted a boy playing with a toy gun on a Kosovo garbage dump.

European Roma and Sinti groups condemned the cover as likely to fuel prejudice against members of the two ethnic minorities, also called Gypsies.

The press watchdog’s decision carries no penalty beyond public censure. The magazine did not respond to requests for comment.

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