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9347: FW: Dominican Gov't Grants Residence (fwd)
From: Anne Russell firstname.lastname@example.org
25 October - Dominican Gov't Grants Residence
By Andres Cala
Associated Press Writer
Wednesday, October 24, 2001; 10:25 PM
SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic ** Dominican authorities said Wednesday
they granted temporary residence to 11 men wanted in neighboring Haiti in
connection with deadly attacks on police installations.
The move provoked concern in Haiti, where Justice Minister Gary Lissade said
the government planned to make a request for extradition although the
countries do not have a formal extradition treaty.
"We will not let the matter drop," Lissade said.
The July 28 attacks on a police academy near the Haitian capital and three
police stations across the country, carried out by men in camouflage, killed
five police officers dead and wounded 14.
In August, Haiti Foreign Minister Joseph Phillippe Antonio traveled to the
Dominican capital, and demanded the men be handed over. The two countries
share the Caribbean island of Hispaniola.
Dominican Foreign Minister Hugo Tolentino Dipp said granting the men
residency "was the best way out of the situation for our country."
The 11 suspects were released from custody in the Dominican Republic more
than a week ago and will not be under any further surveillance, he said.
They had been under detention since they crossed the border in the days
after the attacks and requested political asylum.
The residence permit allows the men to work and travel, but the men are not
allowed to engage in any political activity against Haiti's government, a
restriction routinely applied to exiles from Haiti.
The permit expires in six months, and the men must apply to have it renewed,
Tolentino Dipp said.
Of the men, 10 described themselves as former members of the Haitian army,
while one said he was part of the opposition.
The Haitian government has described the July attack as an effort to topple
the government and accused the political opposition of plotting a coup with
the ex-soldiers. The opposition has denied that and said the government is
looking for excuses to persecute opposition partisans.
After being ousted in a 1991 military coup and restored to power by a 1994
U.S. military invasion, Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide disbanded
the army. He was out of office for six years and elected to the presidency
again last year.