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SIP expresa preocupación por proyectos anti libertad de prensa en República Dominicana

The IAPA is concerned about plans against press freedom in the Dominican Republic

The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) expressed concern Various bills In the Dominican Republic, even in cyberspace, libel emphasizes criminality and greatly protects leaders from criticism.

According to the union, the situation is producing an effect Freedom of the press and ban on press work.

In a statement, the IAPA criticized the Dominican Penal Code as a reform Punishes crimes with imprisonment Against the President, Ministers, Members of the Legislature and Diplomatic RepresentativesAccuses it of violating international standards that promote the elimination of the crime of contempt in order to avoid the privileges of the authorities on citizens.

The Contempt of Freedom Act, which was abolished in many Latin American countries, is also being considered in 6132.

On the other hand, the government of President Louis Abinader introduced a bill in Congress on June 14 Against Cyber ​​CrimeIt will replace the current high-tech offenses and offenses law 5307.

The new scheme increases the prison sentence for defamation from one to four years and maintains the defamation offense with a minimum wage of 500 fines without imprisonment. The bill requires service providers Remove the discriminatory item within 24 hours to avoid fines.

IAPA President George Kanahuvati expressed: “We are concerned about the Dominican Republic. The press is changing its position against freedomKanahuvati, head of the OPSA Group in Honduras, said it was time to criminalize defamation crimes and remove the privileges of the powerful when referring to public figures, as the Dominican Republic has done over the years. Before. Behind “.

In this way, Kanahuwati referred to the IAPA’s 2016 endorsement of the Constitutional Court’s decision to repeal seven sections of Act 6132 of 1962. Convicted of defamation and libel in welfare cases. The court ruled that they violated Article 13 of the US Convention on Human Rights on Freedom of Expression.

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That sentence was in response to an unconstitutional appeal filed in February 2013 by directors of newspapers. El Thea, Listin Diario and El Carribe, and Fundamentalist Prinza y Terecho. They demanded the removal of 11 articles of the law criminalizing journalism and another five sections of the Penal Code that penalize so-called speech offenses.

However, with the removal of part of the defamation offenses, the IAPA expressed the hope that the imprisonment of journalists would be removed from the Penal Code and other parts of Law 6132.

According to the letter, the agency also demanded that “criteria of rationality and proportion” be complied with in terms of civil sanctions, as in many cases these would become strict limits for the media.

Carlos Jornet, director of the La Vos del Interior in Argentina, chair of the IAPA’s Committee on Press and Freedom of the Press, said: “It is important that Dominican authorities try to transform national law into the criteria for legal transition.” He added, “Blind legislation risks going back decades and falling back into the dictatorship of the past.Is always ready to reduce the freedom of the press and the independent and critical work of the media and journalists. “

In October 2020, Kanahuwati and Jornet recalled President Abinader’s signing of the SALTA Declaration on the Principles of Freedom of Expression in the Digital Age, which illustrates the attitude of governments in the digital sector to protect freedom. “Governments should not impose legal responsibilities on the actors of the digital ecosystem,” the statement said.

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Similarly, the Declaration states: “Governments Regulations should not prevent the expression of public interest in the digital spaceDo not impose severe restrictions as they may be exposed in a particular place “.

The document urges governments not to punish “critics, informants or protesters against public officials in matters of public interest, or those who voluntarily express themselves for community scrutiny. In the case of claims of civil character, it must be proven.” He acted with real treachery “.

Last year, the Dominican Republic climbed ten steps on the Sapuldeb index, a comparative measure of press freedom in 22 countries in the United States, which became the continent’s success story.

“We regret that what the government has tried so hard to build in recent years is being eroded.” IAPA officials said.