Dominican Republic


79th IAPA General Assembly, November 9 - 12, 2023, Mexico City, Mexico


No infringements or censorship of press freedom were recorded in this period, reinforcing a favorable trend for the practice of journalism. There were also no legislative initiatives threatening press freedom.

There has been a perception of greater openness from the government regarding requests from citizens and the media to access public information under the law in force since 2004. In the previous semester, delays had been reported by public agencies. Still, the government's Ethics and Transparency Commission warned that it would apply budgetary sanctions to those who did not comply.

President Luis Abinader has established a weekly public appearance, an initiative to favor scrutiny by the press and citizens. He has maintained openness to the media since he took office three years ago.

A special commission appointed by Abinader and composed of journalists, jurists, and representatives of civil society organizations, including the Dominican Society of Daily Newspapers, drafted a bill guaranteeing freedom of expression, which will be presented to Congress this year.

The initiative dates from July 2022, after the Executive Power, in response to press criticism, withdrew two projects from Congress that affected press freedom with harsher penalties for defamation and insult. The current draft bill contemplates decriminalizing defamation and regulating the dissemination of false news on social media.

In May it became known that journalist Nuria Piera, of N Digital, was targeted by Pegasus malware on at least three occasions between 2020 and 2021. The journalist has investigated corruption and impunity in the country, and about people in high government positions and relatives of former president Danilo Medina. The attacks against Piera come in a context in which dozens of journalists and human rights defenders in the country believe that they are being targeted for surveillance due to their activities.