Dominican Republic


78th General Assembly

October 27 – 30, 2022

Madrid, Spain


During this period a new media law promoted by President Luis Abinader continues to be considered, while a controversial bill on cybersecurity - which contained gag clauses on freedom of press and expression - was withdrawn from Congress by the ruling party after a generalized rejection by the public.

There were no significant incidents against journalists, except for an incident of police aggression.

A court opened proceedings against police colonel Ysabelita de los Santos Pérez and six other officers for the physical aggression against reporters of Listín Diario, CDN news channel and the Ombudsman in April - when they prevented the journalists from carrying out an inspection at the Santo Domingo vehicle retention center.

The prosecution asked for imprisonment and economic damages for the crime of appropriation and deletion of data from the phone of a Listín Diario reporter and a verdict is pending in court.

Two bills against freedom of the press were also put on hold after President Luis Abinader appointed a special advisory commission for the drafting of a new Law of Expression and Dissemination of Thought.

Abinader issued a decree on June 23 ordering the advisory commission - made up of lawyers and press professionals - to review and update the existing legislation and produce a new law that consolidates the legal regulations on the issue.

The advisory commission held several meetings with representatives of various public and private institutions and got advice from the Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, the United Nations Program and the Inter-American Press Association.

A draft of the new law will soon be submitted in order to validate the current principles of the Dominican Constitution, international regulations and the jurisprudence of the Constitutional Court. The President emphasized that the new legislation needs to "protect and guarantee the full exercise of these freedoms."

The independent press considers that, through the new law, it is possible to establish a greater protection for freedom of expression and freedom of the press.