On Monday June 22, 2015 in Washington, the Association of Haitian Professionals (AHP) called for a meeting followed by a march to the Embassy of the Dominican Republic to demand an end to the deportations and expulsions taking place in the Dominican Republic, as a result of a 2013 ruling by Dominican Courts that stripped citizenship from an estimated 200,000 Dominicans of Haitian descent.
The AHP claims there is increasing anti-Haitian sentiment in the Dominican Republic resulting from violence against anyone with “Haitian facial features” – citing the example of the lynching of Henry “Tulile” Jean Claude in February 2015.
“Tulile”, a shoe-shiner, was found hanging in a Santiago public square on February 10, 2015, his hands and feet bound. The lynching, which was widely condemned, was blamed on a group of Dominican nationalists who had called for the deportation of Haitians living in their country and burned a Haitian flag on February 9, 2015.
According to Washington Post, in fiery and exuberant speeches, speakers with bullhorns denounced the Dominican policy as ethnic cleansing and racist suppression. Some evoked the 1937 massacre of tens of thousands of dark or “Haitian-looking” inhabitants ordered by Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo. Among the speakers in the rally was Hon. Denita Veras, a Dominican-born member of the Prince George’s County Council who denounced the new nationality policy as “state-sanctioned social cleansing.” Victor R. Ramirez (D-Prince George’s), a Maryland state senator born in El Salvador also attended the rally.
Without further ado, we present to you the March to the Dominican Republic Embassy in Pictures!