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#3620: DOMINICAN BLACKS ARRESTED, VOTING CARDS CONFISCATED (fwd)
From: Greg Chamberlain <GregChamberlain@compuserve.com>
Santo Domingo, May 13 (EFE) -- The Dominican Human Rights Committee (CDH)
called Saturday for the "urgent" intervention of international election
observers to oblige the government to stop arresting black citizens and
confiscating their voting cards.
CDH spokesman Virgilio Almanzar said authorities were "violating the
constitutional rights" of black citizens, who were taken to detention
centers in army trucks.
The head of the Organization of American States observer mission,
Santiago Murray called the complaint "serious."
The Central Electoral Board responsible for Tuesday's presidential
election said that it had also received complaints from the town of
Guanuma, Sabana Grande de Boya, Bayaguana and Monte Plata, among others,
where black citizens have been arrested.
Dominican authorities in recent months have staged several round-ups of
black people they claim are Haitians, though in many or most cases those
detained are Dominican-born. Hundreds of people have been forcibly
"repatriated" to Haiti in this manner, prompting criticism of Dominican
authorities by international human rights groups.
Haiti and the Dominican Republic share the Caribbean island of
The CDH said Saturday that Dominicans "who look like Haitians" were
being summarily deported to Haiti and that immigration officials took away
the identity and voting cards.
The complaints coincided with claims by the opposition Christian Social
Reformist Party that Dominican Liberation Party leaders were buying
identification and voting cards with money and food.