NLG joins Puerto Rican call for investigation of Dominican judges

The National Lawyers Guild joined in a complaint by Puerto Rican organizations to the island’s Attorney General, calling for the investigation of crimes against humanity by judges from the Dominican Republic responsible for the violation of Haitians’ human rights in the Dominican Republic. The letter asks the Attorney General to hold the judges in Puerto Rico while their violations of international human rights law are investigated.

Letter to Attorney General of Puerto Rico (Spanish)

Article from the Sentinel

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SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Religious, civil, women and human rights organizations in Puerto Rico filed a complaint with the territory’s Secretary of Justice, Cesar Miranda Rodriguez, to investigate alleged crimes against humanity by the Dominican Republic’s Constitutional Court president and two other justices of that body.

The submission is based on the Penal Code of Puerto Rico and takes advantage of the presence of the Dominican Judges, Milton Ray Guevara, Justo Pedro Castellanos and Rafael Diaz Philip, who are currently on the island. It asks that they are prevented from leaving the Puerto Rican territory before the end of the investigation.

The request to the Attorney General seeks to enforce extraterritorial jurisdiction with Puerto Rico to prosecute persons responsible for crimes that offend the conscience of humanity (crimes against humanity), according to a note published in the newspaper Accento.

The suit requests that the necessary precautionary measures for the three Dominicans judges do not leave the jurisdiction of Puerto Rico until the criminal investigation is concluded are taken.

“This action sends a message that they will not go unpunished those who violate human rights. Can not hide in their titles, they were reported and answer for their crimes against humanity, ” the plaintiffs.

The lawsuit stems from the Dominican government has announced restart deportations of immigrants, once concluded the whole process of the National Plan of regularization of undocumented migrants in condition.

According to the complainants these measures under a Constitutional Court ruling, presiding Ray Guevara (CT 168-13) affects thousands of Dominicans of Haitian descent, and causes severe suffering, separation of families and forced displacement.

“This persecution and the threat of mass expulsions people because of their Haitian ancestry has been condemned by various international and regional bodies. The Inter-American Court of Human Rights ordered the Dominican government and noted that the ruling 168-13 is contrary to international human rights law, “the organizations said that sued the three Dominicans judges in Puerto Rico.

They argue that through the Judgment 168-13, issued by the Dominican Constitutional Court retroactively denationalized thousands of Dominicans born in the Dominican Republic since 1929.

“The discriminatory and xenophobic statement, generated the persecution of a group of Dominicans because of their race and ethnicity, leaving them stateless or at risk of being forcibly expelled from the Dominican Republic, where they were born and have all their family, cultural links and social “, they said.

The acting entities demand the defendants argue that judges issued an unlawful decision, which violates human rights and impugns the legal, physical and mental safety of thousands of Dominicans of Haitian descent.

“Its effects are a crime against humanity must not go unpunished. We urge the Attorney General to fulfill its duty to guarantee a criminal investigation into the acts committed by the Dominicans denounce judges who are now in Puerto Rico. We join international organizations such as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the states of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) have pointed out that the actions of the Constitutional Court Dominican and the Dominican State is an attack on our sense of humanity and they can result in a large-scale crisis, “they said.
The organizations hope that the Secretary of Justice immediately open a criminal investigation into this matter and take measures for the three Dominicans judges, accusing them of violating human rights and not to leave the jurisdiction of Puerto Rico.

“The struggle for human rights in Santo Domingo becomes a fight against impunity,” they argue.

Among the applicants include Caribbean Community, Caribbean Institute for Human Rights, Committee in Solidarity with the People of Haiti, Puerto Rican Organization of Working Women, Hope and Solidarity Network-Diocese of Caguas, Puerto Rican Civil Rights Institute, Committee for Latin America and the Caribbean for the Defense of the Rights of Women, Women Broad Movement of Puerto Rico, National Lawyers Guild and International Lawyers Guild. Al Momento


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