UA: 286/11 DOMINICAN REPUBLIC - MIGRANTS ROUNDED UP, DEPORTED
22 september 2011
At least 80 Haitian migrants have been rounded up and arbitrarily expelled from the Dominican Republic. Other Haitian migrants are also at risk of being arbitrarily expelled.
On 20 September at 5am, officers of the Directorate of Migration raided the neighbourhood of Ponton, in the northern town of Navarrete, and detained at least 80 Haitian migrants. According to local sources, during the raid some of the migrants were beaten and some children were separated from their parents. By 8am the migrants had been taken to the border town of Dajabon, and from there they were driven across the border to Haiti.
Local sources suggest that many of those expelled had been living and working in the Dominican Republic for more than 10 years. At least 30 of those expelled were members of an association campaigning for the rights of migrants workers, the Asociacion Solidaria de Obreros Migrantes de la Linea Noroeste (ASOMILIN), the Solidarity Association of Migrant Workers in the Northwest Region, which the authorities had targeted for its work on behalf of Haitian migrants.
According to ASOMILIN, the workers did not have the opportunity to have their cases individually examined, and therefore to challenge the legality of their detention or appeal against the decision to send them back to Haiti.
ASOMILIN and other local organizations fear that Haitian migrants living in the neighbourhood of Barrero, in Navarrete, and in the town of Amina, in the district of Valverde, could be also at risk of being arbitrarily expelled.
Please write immediately in Spanish or your own language:
* Expressing concern that around 80 migrant workers were reportedly arbitrarily expelled on 20 September;
* Urging the authorities to stop arbitrary or collective expulsions of migrant workers, and pointing out that the UN called on them to stop the expulsion of Haitian nationals after the 2010 earthquake, because of the humanitarian situation in that country;
* Calling on them to ensure that all those facing removal from the Dominican Republic have their cases individually examined in a fair and transparent procedure, where they can challenge the authorities' decisions and have their cases reviewed;
* Urging them to fulfil their obligations under the ACHR and the ICCPR, both of which prohibit the arbitrary and collective expulsion of foreign nationals.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 2 NOVEMBER 2011 TO:
Minister of Foreign of Affairs
Lic. Carlos Morales Tronocoso
Ministro de Relaciones Exteriores
Avda. Independencia No.752
Santo Domingo, Republica Dominicana
Fax: +1 809 985 7551
Salutation: Dear Minister
Director of Immigration
Director of Migration
Lic. Jose Ricardo Taveras
Direccion General de Migracion
Avenida 30 de Mayo, Esquina Heroes de Luperon,
Santo Domingo, Republica Dominicana
Fax: +1 809 534 7118
Salutation: Dear Director
And copies to:
Migrant Workers' Association
c/o Solidaridad Fronteriza
c/Manuel Roca n.13, Esq. P.Santa Anna
Dajabon, Republica Dominicana
Fax: +1 809 579 7012
Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country.
Embassy of the Dominican Republic
Kungsholmsgatan 10, 5 fl
112 27 Stockholm
Tel: 667 46 11
Fax: 667 51 05
Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date
Migrant workers are entitled to protection against arbitrary and collective expulsion from any country. This right is guaranteed in Article 13 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and Article 22 of the American Convention on Human Rights (ACHR), to which the Dominican Republic is a state party. However, Amnesty International has documented numerous cases of people being arbitrarily expelled from the Dominican Republic in recent years.
Amnesty International has called on the Dominican authorities to stop collective expulsions of Haitians and Dominicans of Haitian descent. According to local human rights organizations, more than 3,000 Haitians were expelled in the first six months of 2011. Many of these expulsions were arbitrary and did not comply with international human rights standards. After the 12 January 2010 earthquake which struck Haiti, the United Nations and many human rights organizations, including Amnesty International, called on the Dominican Republic and other countries to stop repatriation of Haitian nationals while the humanitarian situation in that country remained difficult.
This practice of collective expulsions means that Haitians and Dominicans of Haitian descent in the Dominican Republic live in the continual fear of being expelled, without an effective opportunity to challenge the decision to do so.
Collective expulsions contravene the Protocol of understanding on the mechanisms of repatriation agreed by the Dominican and Haitian governments in December 1999. In signing the Protocol, the Dominican Republic undertook to improve its deportation mechanisms and made a number of specific commitments, including to avoid separating nuclear families during the process of repatriation and to allow those being deported to collect their belongings and keep their identity documents.
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