CARICOM to discuss controversial court ruling in Dominican Republic

A meeting is scheduled for next week between CARICOM officials and Haitian President, Michel Martelly, to discuss the  controversial ruling by the Constitutional Court in the Dominican Republic, which has stripped thousands of  people of  citizenship.

Martelly, speaking through an interpreter, told reporters on Thursday that the issue is not a Haitian one.

“And if I am not mistaken, the Dominican constitution states that when born on Dominican soil, one is a Dominican , so this issue is a major Dominican issue,” the President said.

Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller said Jamaica has not spoken previously on the matter, as she thinks a position will be stronger coming from CARICOM/

“We have not yet had a full discussion on CARICOM on it and I think that the position should not be that of a single country. We have Jamaica’s position , but we need to take position as a region and the fact that the Dominican Republic is also seeking membership with CARICOM,” she said.

Meanwhile, the international human rights group, Amnesty international has again called on the authorities in the Dominican Republic to suspend the implementation of the Constitutional Court ruling until the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) visits the country.

In a release on Thursday, Amnesty International said the ruling should be suspended until the IACHR formulates its recommendations based on the Dominican Republic’s international human rights obligations.

Amnesty is also urging  the IACHR to “ take all necessary measures to protect from racism, xenophobia and violence, persons with actual or supposed foreign origins, as well as human rights defenders, journalists and other individuals who might be at risk for having spoken out against the ruling 0168-13 of the Constitutional Court.”

Amnesty says the IACHE should initiate a national consultation with civil society and groups of persons affected by the ruling “in order to take all administrative and/or legislative measures possible to restore Dominican nationality to all of those who were deprived of it by the Constitutional ruling”.

On Wednesday, well known Caribbean academic, Professor Norman Girvan called on Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves of St. Vincent and the Grenadines to use his position as a member of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Bureau of regional leaders to seek an emergency meeting of the body to discuss the controversial Constitutional Court ruling in the Dominican Republic and its impact on Haiti.



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