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Dominican Republic: JRS staff assaulted
December 16, 2010

Dominican Republic: JRS staff assaulted
"These operations do not respect any of the safeguards provided by national and international legislation to ensure non-violation of human dignity, that is, no documentation is reviewed, the vehicles are not equipped to safely transport the number of people herded onto the trucks, and authorities used excessive and unnecessary force in implementing the raid," said JRMS.
(Djabon, Dominican Republic) December 16, 2010 – Jesuit Refugee and Migration Service (JRMS) staff report they were physically assaulted by Dominican Republic Police of the General Directorate on Migration. The event took place on the morning of December 15, 2010, as part of a raid which took place near the building Centro Bonó, a Jesuit social center in which JRMS is housed. The assault occurred when two JRMS lawyers, who assist migrants and refugees with legalization documents, interceded on behalf a young Haitian man who was in the process of regularizing his immigration status.

"This is an act of provocation. It is no coincidence. We consider it part of a strategy of intimidation. In this repatriation operation and the authorities have confirmed their targets are people who fit a certain racial profile, with the aggravating circumstance that the action has injured two Dominican women, which (expressed disagreement with the fact) tried to peacefully resist the abuse of power," said JRMS.

JRMS–DR warned that the raids are prohibited by the Dominican Code of Criminal Procedure and mass repatriations in turn are prohibited under the Inter-American Convention on Human Rights. Also these processes violate the principles of presumption of innocence, freedom of movement and non-discrimination.

"These operations do not respect any of the safeguards provided by national and international legislation to ensure non-violation of human dignity, that is, no documentation is reviewed, the vehicles are not equipped to safely transport the number of people herded onto the trucks, and authorities used excessive and unnecessary force in implementing the raid," said JRMS.

"Our immediate action has been to present a complaint to the Public Prosecutor so that this incident may be investigated and so that the perpetrators of this abuse are brought to justice," said JRMS.

JRMS highlights that mass deportations are prohibited by national and international legislation and bilateral agreements establishing protocols on returns. While the General Directorate on Migration has said that repatriations are suspended JRMS has witnessed mass deportations during the period of suspension that has been accompanied by physical violence. JRMS-DR favors a practical approach to migration aimed at the consistent and humane management of migration flows in concert with an immigrant regularization plan.





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JRS Dominican Republic
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