NGO counts 1,700 Haitians deported from the DR in two weeks

At least 1,700 Haitian migrants, including 76 children and a dozen pregnant women have been deported by the Dominican Republic in the last two weeks, reported this Friday the Support Group for Returnees and Refugees (GARR).

The GARR denounced that Haitians andare being subjected to "persecution campaign" by the Dominican authorities, whom he accused of committing "numerous human rights violations".

several migrants arrived in Haiti "with clear signs of having suffered physical violence" and many of them reported that they were detained at their homes or at their jobs, to which immigration officials accessed without judicial authorization.

Among the deportees, there is a woman eight months pregnant who testified to having been "brutally beaten and slapped on several occasions" at the time of her arrest and was subsequently detained for three days before being sent to the border.

Last week, authorities in the Dominican Republic launched a major operation against undocumented immigrants in Ciudad Juan Bosch, an urbanization in Santo Domingo Este.

Last May 18a group of Haitians received immigration agents with stones and, a day later, the General Directorate of Migration (DGM) responded with the arrest of 385 Haitians in that sector.

The operation has continued in recent days and, according to activists, there have been arbitrary arrests, including people who have residence permits.

The Center for Sustainable Development (CEDESO) and the Center for Migratory Observation and Social Development in the Caribbean (OBMICA) condemned the operations this Friday, considering that they were "violations of due process in matters of deportation".

"The disproportionate police and military deployment" What does the DGM do? "has led to the persecution and arrest of hundreds of migrants" in operations "that fail to comply with the procedures established in the Dominican Constitution, the General Migration Law and international agreements"says a joint statement from these organizations.

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