[Translations of three articles, from Noticias SIN for March 10, from Listín Diario for March 1 and from Diario Digital for March 10. See originals here, here and here and related articles here and here. See related Amnesty International documents here and here.]
Human rights organizations back Amnesty International report on police violence
By Yudelki Guerrero
Human Rights Commissioner Domingo Porfirio Rojas Nina has backed a report by Amnesty International which stresses alarming violations of the rights of citizens of the Dominican Republic, stating that it is indisputable and true.
He stated that there is a sector, which he did not identify, that does not want the country to move forward in human rights matters.
He declared as well that he has talked with the chief of the National Police, José Armando Polanco Gómez, and has sent him letters to the effect, urging him to halt or, failing that, to control attacks that are committed.
Porfirio Rojas referred to the exchanges of gunfire [often cited by the police] as a “lie” used to try to justify the unjustifiable and said that it is an evil that has persisted in the country for many years…
Meanwhile, the president of the Human Rights Committee, Virgilio Almánzar, said that people have stopped believing in authorities because of the constant assaults that are committed.
He declared that in the Dominican Republic torture in detention centers, as well as during raids, has not been eliminated.
The Amnesty International report stresses that the state of human rights in the country is extremely troubling, to the degree that those responsible for these abuses are rarely taken to court and, although the Dominican Republic has good laws to protect the citizenry, they are not enforced in an effective manner.
Interior minister and chief of police denounce campaign to discredit the country
They claim that Amnesty International is using false accusations and fabricated testimony
By Irma Pérez
The minister of the interior and the police, José Ramón Fadul, and the chief of the National Police, Major General José Polanco Gómez, have warned of the existence of a campaign to discredit the country, taking as pretext the existence of supposed violations of human rights on the part of peace officers.
They attribute the attempt to the economic and political stability the country is currently enjoying.
Although he did not specify where the campaign is being orchestrated, Fadul explained that it originates in international organizations that lend themselves to this type of plan, using false accusations with the object of damaging the image of the National Police and the country.
The statements come after a report released by Amnesty International pointing out supposed torture committed by agents of the police.
Fadul and Polanco Gómez state that the plan is being carried out by a recognized international institution, which they did not name but which defends human rights and which intends to damage the image of the National Police outside the country.
They state that the institution resorts to false accusations and fabricated testimony with the aim of damaging the image of the peace force and the country.
“We recognize our weaknesses but we have the political will to continue working on strengthening the institution and the approval of a new legal framework,” they stated.
They declared that as a 76-year-old institution the National Police recognizes that it has weaknesses, which has moved it to begin a process of modernization, specialization and cleansing, by means of which they have removed more than 10,000 members in the last four years.
The chief of the National Police and the minister of the interior and the police warned the Dominican people not to be taken in by a campaign tending to damage the image of the institution and the country in general.
Polanco Gómez: “Police respect human rights”
Santo Domingo – The chief of the National Police, José Armando Polanco Gómez, has affirmed that the institution protects the human rights of Dominican citizens.
This is his response to criticism by Amnesty International, which has been denouncing police brutality toward Dominican citizens, as has a domestic organization that frequently denounces police misconduct.
The chief of police declared that, contrary to the denunciations, the bringing to justice of every one of the agents of the institution who is implicated in violent acts or in alleged violations of human rights shows that under no circumstances are excesses tolerated and ,that both the government, headed by President Leonel Fernández, and the institution repudiate abuses against citizens.
“Every case in which presumed criminals fall at the hands of peace officers and other violent incidents is investigated by the Interior Ministry and in cases in which it is determined that some excess or violation of human rights has occurred those responsible are sent immediately to the ordinary justice system so they can answer for their acts,” the institution specified by means of a communiqué.
He made it clear that in no case of alleged violations is institutional policy at fault but it is a question of particular acts, the perpetrators of which answer in court as individuals for their actions…