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Attacks on the Press in 1997 - Dominican Republic

Publisher Committee to Protect Journalists
Publication Date February 1998
Cite as Committee to Protect Journalists, Attacks on the Press in 1997 - Dominican Republic, February 1998, available at: [accessed 14 December 2017]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

While there were no major attacks on the press in 1997, a handful of Dominican journalists reported clashes with police while covering demonstrations, such as the general strike in November. Local press groups have denounced telephone death threats against several journalists who were told their reports were "damaging the country's image."

While the Dominican Republic has a vigorous press, many journalists say they are disappointed that relations with the government have not improved since President Leonel Fernández was elected in 1996. Some journalists describe the youthful Fernández as inaccessible and suspicious of the media.

In November, Dominican press groups denounced the detention of sports reporter Kennedy Vargas from the daily El Siglo, who was arrested at his home by Dominican Marines. According to Vargas, the Marines beat him and held him overnight in a cave along with 50 other prisoners. The detention took place days before the general strike and Mercedes Castillo, president of the Domincan College of Journalists, denounced the attack as a possible warning to the media. No evidence has been produced, however, showing that the detention of Vargas was carried out in retaliation for his work.

Copyright notice: © Committee to Protect Journalists. All rights reserved. Articles may be reproduced only with permission from CPJ.

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