Dominican Republic government harasses journalists during presidential elections, warns IPI

The International Press Institute (IPI) published a statement expressing concern about the harassment against Dominican Republic journalists who have been investigating corruption cases as the May 20 presidential elections approach.

The IPI said that the police raided a digital newspaper office in February under suspicion that the founding journalist used the Internet to spy on Margarita Cedeño, the first lady of the country and the vice-president candidate. In January, another journalist was sentenced to six months in prison and roughly $25,000 in fines for allegedly defaming against a lawyer.

The most recent case is of journalist Nuria Piera, who said that security agents raided the residences and offices of some of her sources of information during the beginning of April, after disclosing on her TV program that a Dominican senator financially supported the current campaign of the president of Haiti.

Because of these cases, the IPI, based in Viena, urged the government of the Dominican Republic to take necessary measures to protect the right to information of the citizens during this last stretch toward the presidential elections, reported the newspaper Crónica Viva.

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