Afrique Asie Europe Moyen-Orient Internet Nations unies
Dominican Republic24 May 2005

Repeal of restrictive media decree welcomed

Reporters Without Borders has welcomed the repeal of a decree passed on 7 May 2005 that introduced restrictive measures against the media.

"We are very pleased to see that the promulgation of this law was due to an administrative mistake and not to a desire to damage press freedom," it said.

"The rapid and unconditional repeal of this decree by President Leonel Fernández is a sign that the government of the Dominican Republic has indeed chosen the path of democracy."

President Fernández abolished the governmental decree that he had approved 12 days earlier on 23 May. At the time of the announcement, the government’s judicial advisor, César Pina Toribio, took full responsibility for the administrative errors that led him to present the new law to the head of state.

He however explained his lack of rigour by the fact that he had had "too much confidence in his assistants". He said the document had been through the hands of several of his subordinates after being put forward by the national commission for public performance and radio (CNEPR) and he had restricted himself to simply submitting it to the president.

The 7 May decree, also known as Regulation 301-05, has now been replaced by the former Regulation 824, in force since 25 March 1971.

Regulation 301-05 banned the media from reporting on natural catastrophes without prior agreement of the authorities, under the guise of avoiding public panic.

The decree also penalised "showing lack of respect for authorities and public institutions", but did not set out specific punishments in the case of infringement. It only said that a government commission would have to assess the seriousness of each case.

In this country
7 October - Dominican Republic
Surprising silence from authorities about disturbing surge in press freedom violations
8 August - Dominican Republic
TV cameraman gunned down in Santiago
22 May - Dominican Republic
Journalist’s car fired at in post-electoral tension
9 July - Dominican Republic
Government urged to respond after shooting attack on radio journalist’s home
28 June - Dominican Republic
Demonstrators threaten to lynch two journalists amid decline in press freedom

in the annual report
Dominican Republic - Annual Report 2008

14 March 2008 - Cuba
No surrender by independent journalists, five years on from “black spring”
5 June 2007 - Venezuela
Closure of Radio Caracas Televisión consolidates media hegemony
22 May 2007 - Colombia
Paramilitary "black eagles" poised to swoop down on press

Americas press releases
3 June - United States
President Obama urged to raise freedom of expression in his Cairo speech
29 May - Venezuela
Open letter to President Hugo Chavez to protest about official hounding of Globovisión
27 May - Mexico
Crime reporter abducted and killed in Durango state
20 May - Cuba
Anyone can browse the Internet... unless they are Cuban
15 May - Cuba
Journalist gets three-year jail sentence

Americas archives
2009 archives
2008 archives
2007 archives
2006 archives
2005 archives
2004 archives
2003 archives
2002 archives
2001 archives
2000 archives

Sign the petitions
Miguel Galván Gutiérrez
Fabio Prieto Llorente
United States
Chauncey Bailey
A petition to Raúl Castro