Local April 18, 2024 | 10:53 am

Concerns over new intelligence law’s impact on press freedom in the Dominican Republic

Santo Domingo.- Journalist Miguel Franjul, director of Listín Diario and regional vice president for the Dominican Republic of the Freedom Commission of Press and Information of the IAPA, raised concerns about Law 1-24, which establishes and regulates the National Intelligence Directorate. Franjul warned that this law poses new risks to freedom of the press and expression. His apprehensions were echoed by the Dominican Newspaper Society (SDD), social organizations, legal experts, and the Catholic Church, who fear that certain provisions in the legislation could pave the way for restrictions on fundamental rights.

Of particular contention is Article 11, which grants the National Intelligence Directorate the authority to compel private institutions or individuals to provide requested information. Critics interpret this as coercive and view it as a potential infringement on press freedom.

The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) expressed concerns that the law could jeopardize the confidentiality of sources and the right to privacy.

In response to the criticism, President Luis Abinader instructed an intersectoral commission, including the SDD, to review the law and propose safeguards. Despite three months of work, consensus is yet to be reached between the government, the SDD, and other concerned organizations due to ambiguities and perceived violations of constitutional norms in the law. Seven appeals of unconstitutionality have been submitted to the Constitutional Court, and five draft bills to amend the law have been introduced in Congress by various organizations.

Meanwhile, alongside recommendations to amend Law 1-24, the intersectoral advisory commission established by President Abinader has also proposed reforms to Law 6132 on Expression and Dissemination of Thought. President Abinader has met with stakeholders to discuss certain aspects of the draft, particularly rejecting the need for increased penalties for defamation and slander, including those committed via digital platforms.

The revised bill is anticipated to be presented to Congress in due course.

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April 18, 2024 2:10 pm

Stop copying the US…the government there has been spying on its citizens for some time now, especially after 9/11…Snowden told us all about it…

Last edited 1 month ago by Alfredo
April 18, 2024 4:42 pm
Reply to  Alfredo

US. is our “daddy” ,when they sneeze we get sick…

April 18, 2024 7:35 pm
Reply to  Fundador

Estamos jodio…

April 19, 2024 3:00 am
Reply to  Alfredo

Claro que si ,hace tiempo …