Montreal Protestors say DR must Stop Human Rights Abuses

Protesters in Montreal, Canada denounce the denationalization of Dominican of foreign descent


Demonstrators gathered on the streets of Montreal to condemn the Dominican Republic (DR) government's denationalization policy, affecting many hundreds of thousands Haitians and Dominican-Haitians. The DR's Constitutional Court ruled in 2013 Haitian migrants and their descendants, dating back to 1929, could no longer be considered citizens. The ruling also extends to Haitians who have Dominican ancestry.

Asma Heurtelou, Haitian-Canadian Caring Organization (HCCO) president, in a vague statement, says if there is an illegal situation concerning Haitian migrants, HCCO does not criticize the DR for it. However, the issue for HCCO is ". . . asking . . . their rights are respected", referring to Haitian descendants of migrants and Dominicans.

The problem beyond being made stateless for Haitians, who were born in the DR, is being expelled to Haiti. It would force them into a foreign land where Creole is the dominant language. The DR is a Spanish-speaking country. Another issue is administration of the DR's National Regularization Program (NRP), which has been badly mis-managed. Of 450,000 people, who applied for NRP, just 290,000 made the cut by mid-June's deadline.

What is particularly unfair about the effects of the ruling is by denying DR Haitians their citizenship rights, they cannot procure birth certificates for their Dominican-born children. This means they can't register their children for school.

For now the DR has stopped making threats of mass deportations this summer, due to the international community's interpretation of such expulsions as ethnic cleansing.

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