Local February 26, 2013 | 9:19 am

Media editors say law is Sword of Damocles over the press

Santo Domingo.- Three media editors in chief and the Press and Law Foundation on Monday asked the Constitutional Court to annul several articles of the Law on Free Speech and the Penal Code, which dictate prison terms for press offenses and place responsibility on media directors for other people’s actions.

In an unconstitutionality complaint filed yesterday, media executives ask the TC to annul several articles of the Penal Code which call for incarceration for defamation and slander, noting that it violates the Constitution and the American Convention on Human Rights.

The constitutional motion was filed by the heads of newspapers Listin Diario, Miguel Franjul, of El Caribe, Osvaldo Santana, El Dia, Rafael Molina Morillo, and Press and Law Foundation attorney Namphi Rodriguez.

The motion argues that the fact the criminal liability system establishes blame for some else’s action is unconstitutional, and further argue that imprisonment in defamation and libel cases is tantamount to a "gag order, intimidation and a Sword of Damocles" over the press.

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