The Constitutional Court ruling which deprives thousands of individuals of foreign descent of their Dominican nationality is being implemented. This has created an increasing nationalist and hostile atmosphere where individuals of Haitian descent are particularly discriminated against and at risk of violence and further violations.
Dominican authorities have started to implement the controversial ruling 0168-13 issued on 23 September by the Dominican Constitutional Court (Tribunal Constitucional) backdated to 1929, which in practice deprives people of foreign descent of their Dominican nationality, with the consequence of making them stateless. Following this, hostile rhetoric, threats and acts of intimidation against individuals of Haitian descent, Haitian migrants and human rights defenders have been increasingly reported. On 4 November, Day of the Constitution, hundreds of people taking part in a nationalist demonstration in Santo Domingo shouted “death to the traitors”, according to reports received by Amnesty International. On 7 November the Central Electoral Board (Junta Central Electoral, JCE) published the results of their report analyzing all civil registries between 1929 and 2007. It identified 53,847 persons, 24,392 of whom were supposedly irregularly registered, born of foreign parents. However, these numbers are inconsistent with the results of a survey conducted by the National Statistics Office in 2012, which found that 244,151 people living in the Dominican Republic were born of foreign parents. The figures presented by the JCE seem to exclude the thousands of children of foreign parents who were never registered, as well as the successive generations of children of foreign descent. It is likely that these persons will be excluded from any solution found, will continue to be denied access to their identity documents and may be at greater risk of arbitrary arrest, deportation and discrimination. An urgent visit of the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights (IACHR) has been agreed by the Dominican authorities in order for the IACHR to assess the scope of the ruling. A suitable date is currently being discussed.
Please write immediately in Spanish or your own language:
Urging the Dominican authorities to suspend the implementation of the Constitutional Court ruling until the IACHR visits the country and formulates its recommendations based on the Dominican Republic’s international human rights obligations; Urging them to take all necessary measures to protect from racism, xenophobia and violence persons with actual or supposed foreign origins, as well as human rights defenders, journalists and other individuals who might be at risk for having spoken out against the ruling 0168-13 of the Constitutional Court;
Calling on them to initiate a national consultation with civil society and groups of persons affected by the ruling in order to take all administrative and/or legislative measures possible to restore Dominican nationality to all of those who were deprived of it by the Constitutional ruling.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 26 DECEMBER 2013 TO:
President of the Republic Danilo Medina Palacio Nacional Avenida México esquina Doctor Delgado Gazcue, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Tel/Fax: + 1809 682 0827 Email: [email][email protected] Twitter: @PresidenciaRD Salutation: Señor Presidente / Dear President
President of the House of Deputies Abel Atahualpa Martínez Durán Avenida E Jiménez Moya 100, Santo Domingo
Distrito Nacional, Dominican Republic Twitter: @DiputadosRD T el/Fax: +1809 535 4554 Email:[email protected]. gob.do
Salutation: Señor Presidente de la Cámara de los Diputados /
Dear President of the House of Deputies
Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country. Please insert local diplomatic addresses below:
Name Address 1 Address 2 Address 3 Fax Fax number Email Email address Salutation Salutation Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date. This is the first update of UA 289/13. Further information: http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/AMR27/014/2013/en