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Social genocide in Dominican Republic

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad — A civil society group in Trinidad and Tobago has described as “social genocide” the recent court ruling in the Dominican Republic, which has left over 200,000 Dominicans of Haitian descent potentially stateless.

In a message to the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Bureau, a civil society delegation comprising Sunity Maharaj of Jouvey Ayiti, Asha Cambon of Groundation Grenada, Mike James of the Caribbean Episcopal Conference, ambassador Reginald Dumas, and University of the West Indies Professor Norman Girvan, who led the group, said: “Members of the Bureau: we cannot countenance, without the most vigorous opposition, the further institution of a state of social genocide and apartheid in the heart of our own region.”

“We cannot let down our brothers and sisters in the Dominican Republic, integral members of the regional family. The Caribbean Community has an historic opportunity to demonstrate its relevance to, and its caring for, the citizens of our region. We are sure you will not let them down,” the group added in a statement to CARICOM heads.

The civil society delegation met with Trinidad and Tobago’s prime minister and current chair of CARICOM Kamla Persad-Bissessar, Haiti’s President Michel Martelly, St Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves and CARICOM Secretary General Irwin Larocque last Tuesday in Port of Spain.

The group presented two petitions to the CARICOM heads protesting the ruling of the Dominican Republic constitutional court, which denationalizes citizens of Haitian descent, and called on CARICOM to take strong action to denounce it and bring pressure on Dominican Republic to change it.

In discussion with the CARICOM heads, the group stressed that the focal point of this unprecedented outcome from a court ruling is the human rights aspect.

“We would wish to emphasize that the people who have been denationalized by the ruling are not Haitians; nor are they illegal migrants. They are Dominican born, many of whom have up to now enjoyed Dominican citizenship. This is not a migration issue; it is a human rights issue,” the group said.

Read the full story on Caribbean News Now

Category: DR News |

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Last updated December 2, 2016 at 1:59 PM
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