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Protest Over DR Court Ruling Reaches NYC

Haitians & Dominicans Protest in Times Square on October 17, 2013. (Hayden Roger Celestin image)

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. Oct. 18, 2013: Haitians and Dominican Republic nationals in New York City, furious by a recent Dominican Republic Constitutional Court decision to deny citizenship to some D.R.-born children born in the DR before 1929 to undocumented Haitian migrant workers, held a protest in Times Square Thursday.

The protesters, carrying signs that read “No To Ethnic Cleansing,” rallied outside the Dominican Republic’s consulate at 1501 Broadway (between 43rd and 44th Sts.) in the heart of midtown Manhattan, on Oct. 17, from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., to express their disapproval.

The D.R.’s Constitutional Court ruling gives the nation’s electoral commission one year to produce a list of persons to be excluded from citizenship.

No To Ethnic Cleansing says Time Square Protesters. (Hayden Roger Celestin image)

“It’s really unfortunate that Dominican officials have decided to take that path. This is in blatant violations of international laws and human decency,” Garry Pierre-Pierre, publisher of the Haitian Times Newspaper, told News Americas last week.

DR President, Danilo Medina has said his government cannot meddle in the Constitutional Court ruling and Central Electoral Board resolutions but promised to contact those branches of government to find a satisfactory solution to the problem.

The Haitian Foreign Ministry has urged the Dominican Republic to address in an “objective and fair manner” the role of Dominicans of Haitian descent in the country while the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretary General Irwin La Rocque has said anything that affects any member state of the regional grouping would be of concern to the region.

Dozens rallied in Times Square on Oct. 17, 2013. (Hayden Roger Celestin image)

And in a major speech on to the UN Refugee Agency’s (UNHCR) Executive Committee, the agency’s Director of International Protection, Volker Türk, last Thursday called for stronger protection of refugees, stateless and internally displaced people (IDPs) in ensuring they enjoy their full human rights.