July 3 News Digest: Conflicting Reports on Forced Deportations as the Crisis Grows

Haitian Prime Minister Evans Paul with a refugee from the Dominican Republic

Haitian Prime Minister Evans Paul with a refugee from the Dominican Republic on the night of July 1

 Here is a news digest on the Dominican Refugee Crisis for July 3:

  • The Dominican director of migration announced yesterday that his agency could begin forced deportations on July 6 (Spanish language). Ruben Dario Paulino Sem reiterated the official Dominican line that no forced deportations have begun.
  • Nevertheless, the Haitian government released a communiqué the same day reporting that 21 people including eight children were deported by Dominican authorities on the night of July 1st (French language). The communiqué claims that the majority of the refugees were born in the Dominican Republic and that they were denied food and water during a 15-hour journey to the border. Haitian Prime minister Evans Paul met the refugees at the border.
  • Mark Philips of the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti reported that both the Haitian and Dominican governments are exaggerating the extent to which the deportations have been voluntary and are underestimating the number of  refugees. He also worries that many refugees do not have Dominican or Haitian documents.
  • Haitian President Michel Martelly, who has been criticized for taking a detached approach to this crisis (see tweet below), spoke out today against the Dominican deportation plans at a Caribbean summit.
  • Haitian journalist Etant Dupain is reporting on the stories of some of the refugees and found that many of those who have left already have been the victimized by Dominican authorities.
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