Dominican Republic

WHEREAS because of the bankruptcy of the Banco Intercontinental of Santo Domingo in May, all the assets owned by the bank or financially linked to it were taken in a legal action by the government as a measure to protect savers pending a definitive court ruling as to the innocence or guilt of the bank’s officers WHEREAS the assets that were taken over included media outlets, such as the newspapers Listín Diario and El Expreso as well as others that were subsequently closed for alleged economic reasons WHEREAS authorities designated administrative receivers to prevent these assets from being misappropriated and named new editors, which puts the independence and suitability of the news and opinion in those papers, at risk, causing harm to readers WHEREAS the appropriateness of the takeover of Listín Diario and El Expreso is still in the hands of the courts, pending the end of the trials and disposition of the cases WHEREAS Principle 5 of the Declaration of Chapultepec states: “Prior censorship, restrictions on the circulation of the media or dissemination of their reports, forced publication of information, the imposition of obstacles to the free flow of news, and restrictions on the activities and movements of journalists directly contradict freedom of the press” THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE IAPA RESOLVES to request that the executive branch stay out of the conflict over Listín Diario and El Expreso and leave it to the courts to decide the case within the law and the normal established time frames and within a framework that guarantees press freedom to demand that Dominican authorities refrain from using the appropriated media companies for political or official uses or their governmental interests to deplore the fact that new editors chosen by the government have been named for the seized newspapers, which increases the people’s distrust of them.