Friday, October 11, 2013

Dominican Republic: extremely racist measures may leave more than 200,000 without nationality

The Dominican Supreme Court decreed that all citizens whose ancestors acquired the nationality since 1929 be deprived of it. This affects especially to at least 210,000 Dominicans of Haitian ancestry who may now become stateless, in clear violation of international Human Rights conventions, as well as the general legal principle of no retroactivity. 
Article 15 (of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights).
  • (1) Everyone has the right to a nationality.
  • (2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality.

Naturally, the Dominican Republic is signatory of this convention.

There is a long history of mistrust and racism between the two countries of Hispaniola. Haiti controlled the Spanish-speaking eastern half for decades until this one broke apart, raising the issue of Mulatto vs. Black racism (sometimes bidirectional). This ethnic and racist conflict has shadowed the relations between both states but never reached this level of outright denial of the most basic human rights by such a high institution.

Protests and diplomacy have been going on since this absurd resolution but with no results so far.

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