Dominican Republic


Report - Mid-Year Meeting April 17 - 19, 2024


During this period, Law 1-24 came into force, creating and regulating the National Intelligence Directorate, which brings new risks to freedom of the press and expression.

According to the Dominican Newspaper Society (SDD), society organizations, law specialists, and the Catholic Church, the legislation, approved on December 29, contains articles that could lead to restrictions.

Article 11 is the most controversial. It empowers the DNI to force private institutions or individuals to provide all the required information, interpreted as a coercive element of fundamental rights and a restriction on freedom of the press.

The IAPA expressed fear that the law could have "negative implications for the confidentiality of sources and the right to privacy."

As a result of the criticism, President Luis Abinader instructed that an intersectoral commission, in which the SDD was included, review the law and propose safeguards. The commission worked for three months on the reform of the text, and consensus is still being sought between the official sector, the SDD, and other organizations called to dialogue and that objected to the law due to its ambiguities and its violations of constitutional norms. The commission's work is still ongoing.

Rulings are awaited from the Constitutional Court, which received seven unconstitutionality appeals.

Also, in Congress, there are five other draft bills to modify the law presented by different organizations.

In parallel to the report of recommendations to modify Law 1-24, the intersectoral advisory commission established by President Abinader in June 2022 delivered another report, but for the reform of Law 6132 on Expression and Dissemination of Thought.

On March 25, President Abinader met with a delegation to examine some draft points. It was clear that there is no need to increase penalties for crimes of defamation and slander committed by any means, including digital platforms.

The new bill is expected to be submitted to Congress.