Freedom of the press: the DR Government must still do more(Update 2)

DominicanToday.com  – One of the country’s most prestigious newspaper editors-in-chief and two famed investigative journalists yesterday agreed that the country enjoys freedom of the press, but warned of some excesses by government sectors, drug trafficking and even self-censorship in some way limit freedom of expression.

To mark World Day of Freedom of the Press today, Rafael Molina Morillo said in general the country he enjoys freedom of expression, but stressed that some officials and people linked to drug trafficking work against the press.

He said the main threats against the exercise of journalists don’t come from governments as before, and instead from drug trafficking and everything involving that illicit activity, with violence, bribes and the purchase of conscience, as well as the internal corruption which in his view affect the press and the journalistic sector, for which he called on the journalists to resist temptations from corruption and materialize a free, sovereign and independent exercise.

The investigative reporter Nuria Piera rebukes that many Government structures allegedly harass journalists to prevent a free press, and affirmed that a journalistic structure contracted by the Government is among its main threats.

The journalist Alicia Ortega also agrees that there’s freedom of the press, but regrets recent attempts to defame and tarnish the image of those who conduct a well based and responsible journalism.

UN calls for worldwide press freedom

UNITED NATIONS.- UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has called on governments and global bodies to stand up for freedom of information, as the world observes Press Freedom Day.

In the era of communication there are some governments "who find many ways to obstruct freedom of press," the UN chief said in a statement on Sunday.

He also slammed media censorship, high taxes imposed on newsprints, and journalist intimidations in various countries.

To put emphasis on his words, Ban named this year's theme "Freedom of Information: the right to know."

The UN Secretary General also touched on journalists' safety, saying "all governments have a duty to protect those who work in the media."

This is while less then a month ago a video footage released in the internet showed trigger-happy US pilots assaulting Iraqi civilians in Baghdad.

The raid left dozens of people, including two Reuters journalists, dead.

Ironically, the footage release was sought to be taken off the web by different bodies in the United Sates - a country widely believed to be the land of freedom of speech.

US news coverage of the Israeli war on Gaza also provides a second insight and more than enough evidence to the contrary.

May 3 was proclaimed World Press Freedom Day by the UN General Assembly in 1993.

Freedom of expression is a fundamental right enshrined in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Dominican Republic faces charges in missing journalist case

Santo Domingo MAY 4th.- The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (CIDH) filed a lawsuit on Sunday against the Dominican Republic before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (CIDH), in the case of the May 21, 1994, disappearance of the journalist and university professor Narciso González (Narcisazo).

The decision comes 15 years after the July 1, 1994, denunciation in the CIDH, of Gonzalez’s arrest and later disappearance, which the Court admitted in March 1998.

The lawsuit against the Dominican State was notified to the victim’s relatives and the lawyers of the Commission of the Truth on May  2, signed by CIDH executive director Santiago A. Canton.

"The CIDH filed a lawsuit in case no. 11.324, Narciso González Medina, against the Dominican Republic before the honorable Inter-American Court of Human Rights in accordance with articles 51.1 of the Convention and 45 of the Regulation of the Inter-American Commission," the letter states.

 

 Read also: Dominican Police Chief house guards arrest TV crew

Go back | Date: 04 May 2010
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