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8012: Video about Mass Expulsions of Individuals of Haitian Descent fro m the Dominican Republic (fwd)
From: Merrie Archer <MArcher@nchr.org>
Contacts: Ronit Avni (212) 845-5243 firstname.lastname@example.org
Sam Gregory (212) 845-5242 email@example.com
WITNESS Releases Latest Online Video about Mass Expulsions of Individuals
of Haitian Descent from the Dominican Republic
"Expelled," introduced by author Edwidge Danticat, highlights the Dominican
Republic's policy of arbitrary mass expulsions of Haitian migrant workers
and Dominican nationals of Haitian descent
New York, May 18, 2001-WITNESS released the latest online WITNESS 'Rights
Alert' video feature, "Expelled." WITNESS 'Rights Alert'
(http://www.witness.org) is a monthly series of human rights videos,
introduced by celebrities and produced with human rights advocates from
around the world. WITNESS collaborated with the Columbia University Law
School Human Rights Clinic and the National Coalition for Haitian Rights to
produce "Expelled." In this feature, victims of mass expulsion bear witness
to the exploitation, racial discrimination, denial of due process and
breakup of family life faced by thousands of Haitians and black Dominicans.
In March 2001, a version of this video was presented before the United
Nations Human Rights Committee (UNHRC) as part of a shadow report about the
Dominican government's human rights record. This video follows on the heels
of an earlier evidentiary submission of WITNESS partner footage about this
issue by the Inter-American Commission to the Inter-American Court.
As a result of these hearings, the Dominican Republic must now provide
regular reports to the Inter-American Court about its deportation policies
and practices. Additionally, this video contributed to the UNHRC's
evaluation of the Dominican government's compliance with the International
Covenant of Civil and Political Rights.
"Expelled" is part of an ongoing broadcasting initiative by WITNESS. WITNESS
advances human rights advocacy through the use of video and communications
technology. In partnership with non-governmental organizations and
activists, WITNESS strengthens grassroots movements for change by assisting
its partners to use video as evidence before courts and the United Nations,
as a tool for public education, and as a deterrent to further abuse.
WITNESS also gives local groups a global voice by distributing their video
to the media and on the Internet, and by helping to educate and activate an
international audience around their causes.
"Expelled" can be viewed online at www.witness.org as part of the WITNESS
'Rights Alert' series. Each 'Rights Alert' feature includes background
information on the human rights issue at hand and an 'ACT NOW' section with
letters addressed to those who possess the authority to effect change. Other
recent WITNESS releases incude "Forgotten People," a 'Rights Alert narrated
by Susan Sarandon that features shocking footage of the inhuman and
degrading conditions in psychiatric and mental retardation facilities in
Mexico and the countries of the former Soviet Union.
www.witness.org generates over 500,000 hits per month.
To speak with Merrie Archer, of the National Coalition for Haitian Rights,
please contact (212) 337-0005, ext. 18. To arrange interviews with WITNESS
Director Gillian Caldwell or to request videos, or copies of press articles
on WITNESS, please contact Ronit Avni at (212)-845-5243
Associate Director for
Programs and Development
National Coalition for Haitian Rights
275 Seventh Ave, 17th Floor
New York, NY 10001
(212) 337-0005, ext. 18
(212) 741-8749 fax