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Dominican Republic-born man denied identity documents deported to Haiti

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic — A young Dominican Republic man of Haitian descent has been arrested by the Dominican Republic army and deported to Haiti, a country where he has never lived.

On Thursday, at around 8 am, an army truck stopped alongside the entrance of batey Libertad, close to the northern town of Mao in Valverde province, Dominican Republic, and requested to see the identity documents of a group of young bystanders. Wilson Sentimo, a Dominican of Haitian descent, was the only one who did not have any identity document with him.

Although he told the officers that he was Dominican, the army personnel arrested him and forced him to board the truck telling him that he was “Haitian”. He was first sent to the army post in Mao and then to the border town of Dajabon along with around 30 other people. They were subsequently deported to Haiti.

Sentimo spent the night in the Haitian border town of Ounaminthe, where he stayed with a local family. On Friday he was able to return to the border city of Dajabon but he is still unable to return to his hometown because of his lack of identity documents.

Sentimo was born in December 1989 in Esperanza, a northern town in the Valverde Province, to Haitian parents. His mother registered his birth in the Dominican civil registry in July 1990 and he was given a Dominican birth certificate. Despite multiple requests, he was never issued a Dominican identity card. He possesses a copy of his birth certificate proving that he was born in the Dominican Republic but the army personnel did not give him the opportunity to show his document.

He has lived all his life in the Dominican Republic and has no attachments to Haiti. Sentimo is visually impaired and did not have his glasses at the moment of his arrest.

For about a decade, the vast majority of Dominicans of Haitian descent have been systematically denied their identity documents and made stateless by a ruling issued by the Dominican Constitutional Court in September 2013.

However, in response to national and international pressure, in May 2014 the Congress passed a law (Law 169-14) that provided for children born in the country to undocumented foreign parents, whose birth had already been registered in the Dominican Civil Registry, to be “accredited as Dominicans” and receive their identity documents.

Only a minority of people is known to have benefited from this law.

Source: Сaribbean News Now

February 21, 2015

Category: DR News |

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Last updated March 25, 2017 at 5:40 PM
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