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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
HAITIAN ROUNDTABLE CONDEMNS DOMINICAN COURT
RULING DENYING CITIZENSHIP TO THOUSANDS
Leading Diaspora Organization Calls for Boycott of
Dominican Tourism and Agriculture
Media Contact: Rita Joseph, RJ Media Public Relations & Communications
New York, NY (November 25, 2013) The Haitian Roundtable (HRT) condemns in the strongest possible terms the recent ruling by the Constitutional Court of the Dominican Republic which strips citizenship from approximately 200,000 Dominican citizens. That they are Dominican citizens of Haitian descent is another painful reminder of the Dominican government's history of abusing the human rights of Haitians and their descendants on their territory. The ruling's scope in going back to 1929 means that Dominican citizenship will be retroactively stripped from multiple generations of people who have been part of the economic engine of the Dominican Republic.
While we recognize the right to sovereignty of the Dominican Republic's government, this ruling is a clear violation of international laws and agreements to which the Dominican Republic is a signatory. Specifically, under Article 7 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child as enacted by the United Nations and ratified by 193 countries, including the Dominican Republic, children have the right to have a name, a nationality and an identity officially recognized by the government under which they were born.
HRT joins the international community which has reacted appropriately with revulsion and outrage at this latest attempt at ethnic cleansing in the Dominican Republic, in supporting a call for the immediate amending of the Court's decision and the complete restoration of full citizenship rights to those affected by this heinous decision.
HRT strongly urges the Congreso de la República, the legislative branch of the Dominican Government to correct this injustice by passing the appropriate laws that will have the effect of cancelling the court's decision and to:
Restore citizenship to Dominicans of Haitian descent born in the Dominican Republic.
Normalize the status of Dominicans of Haitian descent who have been denied official documents.
Provide a fast path for Haitians living in the Dominican Republic to attain legal status and citizenship.
HRT also recommends that Haitians, Haitian-Americans and friends and supporters of Haiti and of human rights, not spend their tourist dollars in the Dominican Republic, or on goods and agricultural products from the Dominican Republic, until we are assured that Haitians who have emigrated there are not treated as non-citizens and undesirables.
We also urge the government of Haiti to review its economic ties to the Dominican Republic and consider steps that it can take to make clear its sense of urgency about this issue.
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