February 24, 2017
The Law Society of Upper Canada expresses grave concern about the harassment of lawyer Noemi Mendez in the Dominican Republic.
Noemi Mendez is a prominent human rights lawyer known for her advocacy on behalf of migrant workers and Dominicans of Haitian descent. She has represented several individuals affected by the September 2013 judgment of the Constitutional Court which arbitrarily and retroactively deprived generations of people born and raised in the Dominican Republic of their Dominican nationality.
Upon the release of the aforementioned judgment, a number of human rights lawyers who criticized the decision were subjected to threats and other acts of intimidation. The situation has not improved since — human rights lawyers working to overturn the ruling are regularly targeted through smear campaigns, harassment on social media, criminalisation and violent attacks.
According to reports, on December 12, 2016, Noemi Mendez arrived at work to find that the glass entrance door of her office in San Pedro de Macorís had been broken. No valuables appeared to have been taken and nothing seemed to be missing. That said, this damage to her property does not appear to be an isolated incident, as her car had been vandalized just a month prior.
December 14, 2016
On the morning 12 December 2016, human rights lawyer Ms Noemi Mendez arrived at work to find that the glass entrance door of her office in San Pedro de Macorís had been broken.
According to the human rights lawyer, no valuables were taken, and nothing seems to be missing. The human rights lawyer filed a complaint at the police station the same day. This is the second time that Noemi Mendez’ property has been damaged in the past few weeks, with her car also having been the target of vandalism a month ago.
The human rights lawyer has represented several individuals affected by the Constitutional Court ruling 168-13, from September 2013, which arbitrarily and retroactively deprived generations of people born and raised in the country of their Dominican nationality. In addition to aggravating long standing tensions between the Dominican Republic and Haiti, the ruling gave way to a rise of verbal and physical attacks led by so-called ‘nationalist’ groups against Dominicans of Haitian descent as well as migrants in the country.
El presidente del Colegio de Abogados, Miguel Surún Hernández,reclamó hoy de las autoridades judiciales y de la Policía Nacional disponer de las más profundas y transparentes investigaciones que den al traste con el esclarecimiento de los culpables y las circunstancias en que fue asesinado el doctor Juan Pablo Vicente, encontrado muerto en el municipio de Moca.
“El Colegio de Abogados reclama una profunda rápida y transparente investigación que esclarezca dicho crimen, así como que le sean impuesto el más severo castigo para el o los culpables del hecho”, expresó Surún Hernández.
El doctor Juan Pablo Vicente había desaparecido desde hace varios días, provocando la desesperación de sus colegas y sus familiares.