PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (HCNN) — Several dozen Haitians demonstrated on Tuesday outside the Dominican Republic embassy in Haiti’s capital to protest a Dominican constitutional court ruling that stripped citizenship from thousands of Dominicans of Haitian descent, a measure protesters called racist.
Demonstrators chanted slogans hostile to what they described as xenophobe Dominican Republic groups and authorities they accused of orchestrating an ethnic cleansing in the neighbouring nation.
“Down with racism, down with hatred,” chanted angry protesters in front of the Dominican Republic embassy’s gate on Tuesday.
Authorities have deployed an impressive number of well equipped riot police officers to protect the embassy and its personnel, even though demonstrators did not show up in great numbers.
“They want to install a criminal regime in the Dominican Republic like the one led by Trujillo because they want to massacre Haitians once again,” demonstrator Jonas Boger told HCNN.
He was referring to a massacre perpetrated in the late 1930s in the Dominican Republic, under the reign of Rafael Trujillo. Thousands of Haitians were reportedly killed during a series of mass murders apparently motivated by racism and other kinds of discriminations.
The Haitian government has expressed concern and strong disagreement as to the court ruling which may have consequences within Haitian borders. But government authorities remain cautious in their comment since those targeted are Dominican Republic citizens.
Several civil society groups in Haiti, in the Dominican Republic and abroad have condemned the court decision. United Nations and Inter-American relevant authorities also got involved with efforts to obtain a review of the measure.