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Dominican Republic

Area: 48,730 sq. km.
Population: 8,507,000
Language: Spanish
Type of state: republic
Head of state: President Hipólito Mejía


Dominican Republic - 2003 Annual Report

The press freedom situation was quite good, but its defenders were disappointed by the quashing of the convictions of journalist Orlando Martínez’s killers.

On 5 November 2002, the Santo Domingo appeals court threw out for technical reasons the 30-year jail sentences imposed on four army officers for killing Orlando Martínez, editor of the magazine Ahora, in 1975.
The four men - Joaquín Antonio Pou Castro, Rafael Alfredo Lluberes Ricart, Luis Emilio de la Rosa and Mariano Cabrera Durán - were convicted on 4 August 2000 but the appeals judge said the grounds for the conviction were not published in the correct manner. The journalist’s family appealed to the supreme court, accusing the judge of being biased.
Martínez, who also worked for the daily El Nacional and was a member of the Communist Party, was shot dead on 17 March 1975. His family said he had been warned that his articles were upsetting powerful people, including the then-president, Joaquin Balaguer.



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see also
2003 Africa Annual Report
2003 Asia Annual Report
2003 Europe Annual Report
2003 North Africa and the Middle East Annual Report