Legal Initiatives with Implications for Freedom of the Press

Midyear Meeting 2023
April, 25-27

WHEREAS in Bolivia, the governing party is promoting an initiative to increase from five to seven years the prison sentence for journalists and media owners for allegedly disseminating racist messages

WHEREAS in the United States, the governor of the state of Florida, Ron DeSantis, and state congress members are promoting a bill to facilitate lawsuits against journalists, as opposed to (anti-SLAPP) laws that allow judges to dismiss cases when they consider that they are intended to hinder, delay or silence journalists' investigations and complaints

WHEREAS in Peru, three initiatives have been presented to Congress that may limit freedom of the press; such as one that promotes mandatory membership of journalists, another that would extend the prison sentence for the crime of defamation from three to five years, and a third that would impose cultural content quotas on television and radio stations

WHEREAS in the Dominican Republic, the Executive Branch has concluded consultations and will present an amendment to Law 6132 on freedom of the press that will include a new regulatory framework for digital expression

WHEREAS Article 8 of the Declaration of Chapultepec establishes that "the collegiality of journalists, their incorporation into professional or trade associations, and the affiliation of the media to business chambers should be strictly voluntary"

WHEREAS the Declaration of Salta establishes in its Article 3, "Governments should not inhibit with regulations the expressions of public interest in the digital space, nor impose aggravated sanctions for the fact that they are manifested in such space..."


To alert that, in Bolivia, Peru, and the state of Florida in the United States, the bills above represent serious setbacks for press freedom

To welcome in the Dominican Republic the socialization and consultation of the initiative for the reform of Law 6132 on press freedom, hoping that the rights and guarantees of press freedom and freedom of expression will be strengthened.