Local December 6, 2013 | 12:24 pm

No surprise, Human Rights Commission slams Dominican Republic

Santo Domingo.- Discriminatory and a violation of the rights of Dominicans of foreign origin, especially Haitians, is what Inter-American Human Rights Commission on Friday called the Constitutional Court ruling in its report on its visit to the country.

It said from its interviews of agencies and thousands of people it noted serious violations to the right to a nationality, situation it affirms has been exacerbated with the ruling.

The Commission said it received testimonies, reports and letters from 3,994 people during its visits to Bahoruco, Dajabón, Jimaní, La Romana, San Pedro, Santo Domingo and Valverde provinces.

"The Commission considers that the Constitutional Court decision leads to an arbitrary deprivation of nationality. The statement has a discriminatory effect, since it mainly affects Dominican people of Haitian descent, who are people of African descent; deprived of the nationality retroactively and generates statelessness for those persons who are not considered as their national by any State, in accordance with their legislation," said the text read in a press conference.

"The arbitrary deprivation of nationality and lack of recognition of the legal personality of these people as a result of not being registered or the difficulties in access to identity documents creates a situation of extreme vulnerability in which other multiple human rights violations occur," it adds

"The Committee notes that the ruling 168/13 disproportionately affects people already subject to multiple forms of discrimination, in particular based on race and poverty."

The IACHR said it obtained "deeply troubling" information on expressions against people who’ve criticized the Court ruling, citing journalists, intellectuals, lawyers, politicians, legislators, and even public figures among them.

The conclusion of the Human Rights Commission’s report didn’t surprise many sectors of Dominican society, which had warned that the delegation had arrived “with a condemnation of the Dominican Republic already under their arm.”


It was a naïve invitation by our government,” said Rafael Helena Regalado, spokesperson for the National Sovereignty Defense Network, which opposed the Commission’s visit. “They are meddling in our internal affairs.”

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