Five of the six candidates for the presidency of the Dominican Republic have replied to a letter from Amnesty International in which the organization asked them to publicly commit themselves to making the respect, promotion and protection of all human rights a priority in the country.
The letter, which was sent on 19 April 2012, included a series of recommendations to candidates, such as the need to carry out a thorough reform of the police, to appoint an Ombudsman and to implement effective compensation measures in cases of gender-based violence, abuses against migrants, the denial of identity documents to Dominicans of Haitian descent and forced evictions.
“Simply receiving replies from most of the presidential candidates in the Dominican Republic is a very positive thing,” Amnesty International’s Special Adviser, Javier Zúñiga Mejía Borja, said.
“What the Dominican people want to see now is for that initial commitment to be transformed into reality and concrete policies for improving the situation of human rights in the Dominican Republic, whatever the result of the elections.”
So far, Amnesty International has received replies from Eduardo Estrella, Danilo Medina, Hipólito Mejía, Max Puig and Julián Serulle.
Should the remaining candidate, Guillermo Moreno, send a reply, Amnesty International will also make it known in due course.
Following the elections, Amnesty International will contact the new President to invite him to carry on a constructive dialogue on human rights protection and promotion in the Dominican Republic, matters which need to be at the heart of all government policies.
Note to EditorsThe candidates’ replies to Amnesty International’s letter (in Spanish only) can be found at:http://www.amnesty.org/es/library/info/AMR27/008/2012/es