"They were starving and then the cholera came..." #Rights4ALLinDR

Even as the Dominican Republic touts its “humane and modern” removal process, a recent International Organization for Migration report found that over 8,000 Dominicans of Haitian descent are amongst those who have been forcibly removed from the country- a direct violation of human rights law.

Recently, both  Al-Jazeera and the New York Times traveled to the refugee camps created by stateless people who have fled or been forced out of the DR and covered some of their stories. “They said they would drop bombs on our homes,” said Milo Brevil, 38, as he built a new house in the blazing heat. His wife had just given birth in the camp. “When they said they would kill us, I departed with my family,” he said. Biene Jemel, 28, and his two brothers said the same farmers they had worked for threatened to burn down their home if they did not leave.

All three men say they were born in the Dominican Republic, though like many Dominicans of Haitian descent, they have no proof of that aside from their language skills.  

Two of these camps are now facing a cholera outbreak: "We have lost people because of cholera and we have lost people through hunger. They were starving and then the cholera came. The two things are acting together and killing people."

This prompted prominent Dominican author, Julia Alvarez, to pen an op-ed in the Miami Herald asking the U.S. government to "do more to help by encouraging Dominican and Haitian authorities to regularize the status of all their citizens and by providing humanitarian assistance to those who find themselves destitute, stateless and bereft of hope." More specifically, Haitian activists  chimed in in the New York Times asking the global community to "aid people in the camps, continue to decry the Dominican Republic’s hateful policy and support efforts by Haitian groups to urge the government to intervene."

In an interesting video, Al-Jazeera also covered the legal limbo of now-stateless Dominicans of Haitian descent who have managed to remain in the DR.

Finally, UNHCR has made an appeal to the DR to stop expelling stateless Dominicans of Haitian descent.  

Unfortunately, as you can see below, this has only been met with derision from the Dominican authorities since they face no consequences for their human rights abuses.