The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Wende Gozan-Brown, 212-633-4247,

Amnesty International Calls the Dominican Republic to Stop Forcible Deportation of Haitians

Organization Says Nearly 1,000 Haitians Were Deported Within the Last Week on Grounds of Stopping the Spread of Cholera


Amnesty International today urged
authorities in the Dominican Republic to immediately halt the mass deportation
of Haitian migrants amid claims by the authorities that the move is necessary
to prevent the spread of cholera.

"Haiti is still recovering from a devastating natural disaster,"
said Javier Zuniga, senior advisor at Amnesty International. "Instead
of forcing people back to a desperate situation, the Dominican Republic
and other countries should be stepping up their efforts to help Haiti and
its people."

Over 950 Haitians - many of them living
in the Dominican Republic without documentation - have been deported to
Haiti in the past week, according to statements by the local Migration

The immigration status of many Haitians
in the Dominican Republic is still unclear.

"No one should be deported without individual
determination of their immigration status, and any Haitian suspected of
cholera should be given adequate medical treatment and not be deported,"
said Zuniga. "Returning
people is condemning them to a situation where their health and security
would be at great risk."

After an earthquake struck the impoverished
country last January, the Dominican Republic agreed to admit hundreds of
Haitian nationals on humanitarian grounds. But authorities now claim that
deportations are crucial to prevent the spread of cholera. A recent outbreak
of the disease has already killed 3,500 people in Haiti. Around 150 cases
have been reported in the Dominican Republic.

According to the United Nations, around
600,000 Haitians lived in the Dominican Republic without documents before
the earthquake.Amnesty
International yesterday raised concerns regarding the situation of women
and girls living in makeshift camps across Haiti and warned of the widespread
sexual abuse they suffer.

Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning
grassroots activist organization with more than 2.8 million supporters,
activists and volunteers in more than 150 countries campaigning for human
rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates
and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice,
freedom, truth and dignity are denied.

Amnesty International is a global movement of millions of people demanding human rights for all people - no matter who they are or where they are. We are the world's largest grassroots human rights organization.

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