Ronit Avni (212) 845-5243
and Sam Gregory (212) 845-5242
Info on NCHR's work Haitians in the Dominican
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
New York, May 18, 2001 - WITNESS released the latest online
WITNESS 'Rights Alert' video feature, "Expelled."
WITNESS 'Rights Alert' (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
"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.
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