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UK Attorney General Dominic Grieve said anyone posting photos of Jon Venables and Robert Thompson could be charged with contempt for violating an injunction — even if the photos aren’t actually of the men. And Russell Hayes from the Attorney General’s office told iMediaEthics by email this week that those proceedings have started. Hayes wrote:

“The update is that the people against whom a decision has been taken to bring proceedings were contacted Friday by personal service and the process of instituting proceedings are underway.”

The two “were convicted of abducting and murdering” a child named James Bulger in 1993, when they were each ten years old. Both were given new identities after being released.

According to a Feb. 25 posting on the attorney general’s website, the “contempt proceedings” are “against a number of individuals.” That statement explains:

“There are many different images circulating online claiming to be of Venables or Thompson; potentially innocent individuals may be wrongly identified as being one of the two men and placed in danger. The order, and its enforcement, is therefore intended to protect not only Venables and Thompson but also those members of the public who have been incorrectly identified as being one of the two men.”

The BBC noted that the injunction is “a worldwide ban.” Grieve’s statement is in response to photos “claiming to show an adult Venables posing with friends” being posted on Twitter, according to the Independent.

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The attorney general’s office’s Hayes also provided iMediaEthics with a copy of the injunction, which, according to the attorney general’s website, “applies to both media organisations and individuals.”

According to the injunction, it was last “amended” Aug. 31, 2012. It prohibits “any newspaper or broadcasting in any sound or television broadcast or by means of any cable or satellite programme service or public computer network” from publishing “any depitction, image in any form, photograph, film or voice recording” or “any description which purports to be of their physical appearance, voices, or accents at any time since” the pair were arrested in 1993.

It also protects their new identities by noting the injunction bars publishing “any information purporting to identify person as having formerly been known as” Venables or Thompson or anything “purporting to descrie” where they are or have been.  Further, the injunction even bars “soliciting any information” that could get the identifying information or photographs of the two.

Further, Grieve’s office called for Google, Facebook and Twitter to delete any related photos, according to the Guardian.

In the past two years, Grieve reminded tweeters they could be susceptible to libel and contempt charges for things posted on Twitter.

Hat Tip: The Guardian

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