Human rights court begins trial for disappearance of Dominican Republic journalist in 1994

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights is accusing the government of the Dominican Republic of the forced disappearance of journalist Narciso González 17 years ago, during the administration of former President Joaquín Balaguer (1986-1996), reported DiarioLibre.com.

González was arrested May 26, 1994 by government security forces, just one day after he had denounced electoral fraud in that year's presidential elections, according to Noticias Sin.

The trial began Tuesday, June 28, with a public hearing in which both sides could present testimony, reported the Associated Press.

Lawyer Ariela Peralta said that the forced disappearance of González was a violation of freedom of expression and an attempt to silence an opposition political activist and a journalist opinion maker under a "regime of terror," reported the news agency EFE.

Peralta also denounced the Dominican "government's attempt to characterize the journalist's disappearance as a suicide, saying that in 17 years, the suicide angle never was investigated.

Note from the editor: This story was originally published by the Knight Center’s blog Journalism in the Americas, the predecessor of LatAm Journalism Review.