Santo Domingo, March 10th 2014. The Reconocido Movement rejected the most recent Sentence 28-14 of the Constitutional Tribunal, because it revokes the sentence issued by the Civil Chamber of San Pedro de Macorís which ordered the Central Electoral Assembly the return of identity documents and birth certificates to 28 Dominican citizens.
“The new Sentence 28-14 of the Constitutional Tribunal confirms the precedent established by Sentence 168-13, through it’s insistence on premising the nationality of solicitors on the migratory conditions of their parents” affirmed Noemí Méndez, lawyer of the group. Méndez commented that the new sentence repeats the violation of Article 3 of the American Convention regarding the recognition of legal status and Article 18, which obligates the States to protect the right of name and nationality of the people.
“Sentence 28-14 also contradicts itself because it orders the JCE to launch an investigation on the nationality of parents and simultaneously orders the JCE to invalidate the birth certificates without having the results of this investigation, Méndez asserts. Furthermore, the Constitutional Tribunal also reiterates its error regarding the concept of nationality as defined by the Inter-American Court in the case of Yean vs. Bosico.
For the lawyers, the most recent sentence of the Constitutional Tribunal confirms its intention to denationalize Dominicans of Haitian descent, in revoking the protections offered to them by the Tribunal de primera instancia in their solicitation for their identification certificate (cédula). ¨The Constitutional Tribunal is sending a bad message to the judicial community by not recognizing the protection owed to the solicitants. The Constitutional Tribunal did not take into account the arguments of those appealing, it infringed upon the established process by not recognizing the evidence presented by the defense and went against the tribunal who ruled in favor of the 28 people who were soliciting the protection of their rights¨, Méndez affirmed.
Nevertheless, the lawyers of the group applauded the two dissident votes of Judges Katia Miguelina and Isabel Bonilla whom, just as the Tribunal (de primera instancia) represent a part of the judiciary which hold progressive positions and of protection of fundamental rights.
Noemí Méndez reiterated that the affected would not accept being stripped of citizenship nor would they renounce their Dominican nationality. ¨Although the sentence ordered the establishment of a temporary permission for two of the affected, we would like to make it clear that none of them will give up their Dominican citizenship to be treated as foreigners.¨
The 28 citizens affected by this new sentence, in failing to find justice in the national undertakings for the protection of their rights, will continue in the search for justice in the international spaces of the Inter-American System, as well as in the national mobilization, starting this Wednesday 12 of March congregating in front of Congress. From 9:00 until 12:00 midday, they will carry out a fast in order to reiterate their will for Article 18 Number 2 of the National Constitution be respected which guarantees the full recognition of nationality.