Twitter user claims to name British stars who gag press

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A Twitter account had more than 35,000 followers by Monday after claiming to have revealed the names of British celebrities who have taken out gagging orders to prevent reporting about their private lives.

The messages on the microblogging site, which can be read by anyone online, were an attempt to get around the so-called super-injunctions supposedly taken out against the media.

The privacy orders are granted by judges and prevent media from reporting even the fact that the super-injunctions exist.

But socialite and civil liberties campaigner Jemima Khan swiftly hit back at a claim that an injunction was in place to stop publication of photos of her with BBC presenter Jeremy Clarkson, the face of popular motoring show Top Gear.

"Rumour that I have a super injunction preventing publication of 'intimate' photos of me and Jeremy Clarkson. NOT TRUE!," tweeted Khan, the ex-wife of Pakistani cricket legend turned politician Imran Khan.

The release of names on Twitter came amid mounting opposition to the use of the injunctions in Britain.

Top BBC broadcaster Andrew Marr admitted at the end of last month that he took out a gagging order to suppress reports of an extra-marital affair but said he was now "embarrassed" about the order granted in 2008.

The journalist said his decision to go public was motivated by fears that the orders were "running out of control."

Prime Minister David Cameron said last month that he felt "uneasy" about some of the injunctions.

Cameron said judges were using human rights legislation "to deliver a sort of privacy law" and added that it should be up to parliament to decide on the balance between press freedom and privacy.

© 2011 AFP

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