Republica De Plátano al otro veo? Dominican Republic Journalists arrested…
The international press freedom campaign group Reporters Without Borders says that they are shocked at the heavy-handed arrests of two journalists by drug police during separate operations in the past two weeks, and the arrests of the daughters of a third journalist in one of the incidents, especially as violence against journalists is rare in the Dominican Republic.
In both cases, local prosecutors endorsed the arrests by members of the National Drug Control Organization (DNCD), whose actions were condemned as “anti-journalistic, anti-democratic, anti-citizen and illegal” by Olivo de Leon, the head of the Dominican Journalists’ Union (CDP).
When contacted by Reporters Without Borders, DNCD spokesman Miguel Medina defended the DNCD’s actions.
In the first incident, Gerardo de Jesus Abreu, producer of the “Tiempo Informativo” program on local TV station Valle Vision Canal 10, was arrested while filming a drug raid in the central province of La Vega on 11 June.
The DNCD spokesman’s only explanation for the journalist’s arrest was his presence.
The prosecutor subsequently offered to release them in exchange for their promise not to file a complaint against her.
Medina claimed that Morel had refused to show any ID to the police, while the two sisters attacked one of the police officers.
The Dominican Republic is ranked 68th out of 180 countries in the Reporters Without Borders press freedom index.