Fear for safety/ Intimidation of Father Pedro Ruquoy!!

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Fear for safety/ Intimidation of Father Pedro Ruquoy!!

Post by admin » Tue Nov 30, 2004 12:41 pm

AI Index: AMR 27/007/2004
UA 324/04
Fear for safety/ Intimidation
29 November 2004

Father Pedro Ruquoy, (m) human rights defender, aged 52

Father Pedro Ruquoy, a Belgian national who is a permanent resident of the Dominican Republic was attacked on 24 November as he distributed food to a crowd at his home. He was hit by a stone in the middle of his spine and fell unconscious for half an hour, before he was taken to hospital.

The attack is the latest in a series of acts of intimidation against Father Pedro Ruquoy as a result of his work defending the rights of Haitian refugees and workers in the Dominican Republic. In three articles published in the daily newspaper Diario Diario on 11, 14 and 17 November, Father Pedro Ruquoy was accused of supporting the trafficking of Haitians
and even escorting them into the Dominican Republic in his own van. He was also accused of discriminating against Dominicans in the distribution of international aid in favour of Haitians and “denouncing the alleged bad treatment of illegal migrants in national territory to international organisations which could result in the country being subject to sanctions” (se va a organismos internacionales a denunciar supuestos maltratos de ilegales en territorio nacional, como resultado de las cuales el país puede ser objeto de sanciones). A Diario Diario reader posted a comment on the newspaper's website accusing him of being a traitor and Father Pedro Ruquoy is said to be taking legal action against the newspaper and some of those who have defamed his character.

In August 2000, Father Pedro Ruquoy testified to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights regarding the treatment of Haitians in the Dominican Republic. Although he participated only as a witness, Amnesty International believes that he has been sub
jected to intimidation in part from the misrepresentation of this testimony in the press as an attack against the Dominican government. The Inter-American Court called on the Dominican government to take measures to guarantee his safety. Despite this throughout 2001, Amnesty International received reports of threats and acts of intimidation against Father Pedro Ruquoy. In April 2001, he was apparently threatened at knife point in his home and was not provided with police protection until June 2001.

RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send appeals to arrive as quickly as possible, in Spanish or your own language:
-expressing concern at the ongoing campaign of attacks against Father Pedro Ruquoy following his work as a human rights defender;
-referring specifically to the latest attack at his home on 24 November following which he had to be taken to the hospital call on the Attorney General Francisco Domínguez Brito to denounce any threats and attacks against Father Pedro Ruquoy, and to make a clear and un
equivocal public statement in favour of Father Ruquoy's role as a defender of the rights of Haitian refugees and workers in the Dominican Republic;
-calling on Attorney General Francisco Domínguez Brito to grant Father Ruquoy police protection and to guarantee that all necessary steps are taken to ensure his safety.

Sr. Francisco Domínguez Brito
Procurador General de la República
C/Hipólito Herrera Billini Esq. Juan B. Pérez,
Centro de los Heroes, Constanza, Maimón y Estero Hondo
Santo Domingo
Dominican Republic
Fax: +1 809 533 4098
Salutation: Dear Señor Brito/ Estimado Señor Brito
COPIES TO: diplomatic representatives of Dominican Republic accredited to your country.

PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat, or your section office, if sending appeals after 10 January 2005

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Post by admin » Tue Nov 30, 2004 12:53 pm

I can fully attest, from the times that I have spent with Padre Ruquoy, of his great compassion and his admirable humanitarian service to the Haitian braceros in the bateyes of the Dominican Republic.

I therefore join in this appeal by Amnesty International to do what you can to pressure the Dominican state to protect the life and well-being of Father Pedro Ruquoy. Should the forces of darkness fell this noble warrior, it would be a serious blow to our most unfortunate brothers and sisters in the Dominican Republic. This is not unfortunately the first time that Pedro Ruquoy has been attacked. Those who hate Haitians in the D.R. have every reason to hate Father Ruquoy as well.

May the love of humanity triumph over hate, slavery, and the scandalous exploitation of the poor.

Guy S. Antoine
Windows on Haiti

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