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WITNESS Contacts: 
Ronit Avni
(212) 845-5243 and Sam Gregory (212) 845-5242

Info on NCHR's work Haitians in the Dominican Republic:
Merrie Archer

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' ( 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 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. 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




NCHR's Strategy

  See also:
  Judicial Reform in Haiti
  La réforme judiciaire en Haïti
Human Rights News
  Archived Human Rights News
  Overview: Mass Expulsions and Deportations
  IACHR Decision of Sep 14, 2000
  CEJIL: Comunicado de prensa
  Related Links
  Campaign Overview
  How You Can Help
   Restavèk: Four-year-old Servants in Haiti - Haiti Insight Dec '96 / Jan '97
  Contact Information
  Open Letter to the Haitian National Police
  Open Letter to the Haitian Minister of Justice
  December 2001 Report
  NCHR Calls on Haiti's President to Ensure Safety of Human Rights Advocates
  NCHR Pays Tribute to Jean Léopold Dominique
  Event Photos
  The Sound of Silence
  more on . . .
    Jean L. Dominique
    Michèle Montas
    Michael S. Hooper

Inter-American Commission on Human Rights: Report on the Situation of Human Rights in Haiti (1994)


Peacebuilding in Haiti: Findings of the International Peace Academy regarding challenges to peacebuilding in Haiti.

  Peace Brigades International, Haiti: Reports from the PBI contingent in Haiti on conflict resolution and political challenges.
  Situation of Human Rights in Haiti: Report of the UN Commission on Human Rights, 1996.
  MICIVIH OEA/ONU: La police nationale d'Haiti et les droits de l'homme
  State Department 1997 Haiti Report
  Haiti Held Hostage
Report of the Watson Institute
  Amnesty International Report
HAITI Steps Forward, Steps Back: Human Rights 10 Years After the Coup (27/09/2001)

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