By Staff (mm kft gp)
Translated from the French by Dady Chery for Haiti Chery
English | French
Dominican Constitutional Court Ruling TC168.13 is discriminatory and violates the rights of Dominicans of Haitian descent.
This is essentially the conclusion of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights’ (IACHR) preliminary report, made public in Santo Domingo on December 6, 2013 after a one-week visit to the Dominican Republic.
“The Commission considers that the judgment of the Constitutional Court led to an arbitrary deprivation of nationality. It has a discriminatory effect that mainly impacts Dominicans of Haitian descent who are people of the Afro kind,”
said the text read at a press conference followed closely by the Dominican press.
“It retroactively denies citizenship and generates statelessness for people it does not consider its own or those of any state,” continued the IACHR.
“The Commission noted that ruling TC168.13 disproportionately affects people who experience multiple forms of discrimination, including those based on grounds of race and poverty,”
denounced the preliminary report highlighting the “extreme vulnerability” of those people.
Likewise, the Commission’s report finds the statements from the people who have criticized the Constitutional Court (Tribunal Constitucionel, TC) to be “very disturbing.” It cited among them journalists, intellectuals, lawyers, politicians, parliamentarians and human-rights defenders.
The delegation noted that it observed in the course of its visit, during which it interviewed thousands of people and met with many institutions, serious violations of the right to nationality, which indicate that the situation has worsened with the judgment of the TC.
Nearly 4,000 people have submitted to the Commission their denunciations and testimonies in the provinces of Dajabon, Jimani Bahoruco, La Romana, San Pedro, Santo Domingo Valverde, it reveals.
Therefore the Commission recommends to Dominican officials to ensure the right to nationality to people who have already had this right under the existing national regime between 1929 and 2010 and to take “measures to guarantee the right to nationality to the people affected by Ruling TC168.13.
These measures, it believes, should be general and automatic, and should be mechanisms that are simple, clear, fast and fair.
From December 2-5, 2013, an IACHR delegation investigated the Dominican Republic on everything that relates to human rights in this country: a visit that has sparked gnashing of teeth from Dominican politicians and demonstrations, but it also gave an opportunity to thousands of people to relate their humiliating, inhuman and degrading conditions.
The Dominican Republic is part of the Inter-American Human Rights system by sovereign decisions taken by the country since 1948, when it participated in the adoption of the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man, and its participation in the creation of the IACHR and the ratification of the American Convention on Human Rights on April 19, 1978.