Agents marooned Haitians at border, human rights group says
ELIAS PIÑA, Dominican Republic.- A human rights group based in the northwest border town Dajabon on Thursday denounced alleged violations of human rights and international agreements by the Immigration Agency (DGM), during a series of deportations of Haitians at Dominican Republic’s western border crossing at Elias Piña.
“Last night we were witnesses of a new violation of human dignity and international treaties when the Immigration Department made a new mass deportation across the border gate at Comendador, Elías Piña, ??just after 8.32pm,” said the charity organization Jano Siksè Frontier Network.
It said Network members at Elías Piña were there when 70 people, 69 men and one woman, were left stranded at the border overnight Wednesday, “after skipping Border Gate Protocol on repatriations between Dominican Republic and Haiti, signed by the authorities of the two countries in 1999.”
“Once again, the Immigration Dept. was in violation of human dignity, of human rights and the Dominican Immigration Law when it failed to take concrete measures to allow the returnees their personal effects; didn’t hand each person a copy of the individual form containing the repatriation order; didn’t communicate to the Haitian diplomatic or consular authorities the list of returnees, the non-separation between men and women, the retention of people for periods longer than 48 hours , inexistent hygienic conditions and overcrowding both in detention centers and in transport to the border,” the organization said in an emailed statement.