New York, Oct. 31–Dr. Ron Daniels, president of the Institute of the Black World 21stCentury (IBW) today sent a strong letter to President Danilo Medina Sanchez of the Dominican Republic condemning the recent ruling of the country’s constitutional court revoking citizenship to some 250,000 persons of Haitian descent born in the Dominican Republic.
“This blatant violation of human rights is an insult to decent and fair-minded people across the globe and a serious setback to human rights and democracy in the Caribbean and Latin American region,” wrote Daniels. “We call on you to use the powers of your good office to immediately rectify this egregious situation.”
Daniels said that in a recent IBW symposium on ‘The Future of Democracy & Development in Africa’(http//ibw21/symposium) the 100-plus participants unanimously expressed their outrage at the court’s action.
Participating in the symposium were former President of Cape Verde in West Africa, Hon. Pedro Pires, the Prime Minister of St. Vincent & the Grenadines Dr. Ralph Gonsalves and a wide range of prominent civic leaders, current and former ambassadors, distinguished academics and human rights advocates from across the USA.
In his keynote address to the symposium, Prime Minister Gonsalves read a letter that he had written to the President of the Dominican Republic on Oct. 11 in which he stated that the court’s ruling is“unacceptable in any civilized community” and is an “affront to all established international norms and elemental humanity.”
In his letter, Daniels cited IBW’s long-standing relationship of friendship and solidarity with the people of Haiti and with Dominicans of Haitian ancestry noting that since the early 1990s fact-finding and humanitarian aid delegations led by IBW have visited Haiti on several occasions. These visits have resulted in the establishment of IBW’s Haiti Support Project, which provides ongoing humanitarian and development assistance to Haitian civil society organizations working in the areas of health and education.
Daniels stated that the Institute of the Black World will join forces with other human rights groups from across the Americas “to challenge this racist ruling before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.”
In the conclusion of his letter Daniels said to Medina Sanchez, “Mr. President, we trust that as a person of conscience, integrity and high principles you will move swiftly to condemn and revoke this immoral ruling. Your own citizens of Haitian descent, along with the people of the entire Americas expect nothing less.”
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