Dominican Government

During the public protest demonstrations police applied force, injured and even killed a number of people. The international law admits the use of weapon to protect the life of the security officer, but in the Dominican Republic the weapon was used against the exclusively peaceful demonstrations. Such facts took place in the Dominican Republic during the 2003 economic crisis according to the Amnesty International. The Dominican penal system is one of the main sources of the human rights violations.

That means the system which is aimed to enforce the law is unable to carry out its constitutional mission. The rights of the detained persons are violated by the police system. The Constitution of the Dominican Republic enshrines the right of all persons detained to be brought before the competent authority within 48 hours of his or her detention. If this requirement is not met, the detainee must be released. Despite of the above-mentioned guarantee, there are dozens of cases in which persons are arrested and imprisoned without being informed of the charges against them.

Many persons have remained in the Dominican prisons for months, and even years, without any verdict in their case. The information received during the Inter-American Commission’s on-site visit indicates that more than 500 detainees being held in preventive detention in the La Victoria prison, the country's largest and most overpopulated, had been held there for longer than would have been the case had they been tried, convicted, and given the maximum sentence.

During its on-site visit, the Commission found that the prison population was being reduced by a decision to release those who had been in preventive detention for longer than would have been they case had they been found guilty and given the maximum sentence for the crime of which they were accused. (Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Ch. III,  1999). The Inter – American commission has marked a number of malpractices of the Dominican judicial system.

The legal system of the Dominican Republic presupposes the conditional release on bail, but such provision is rarely used because in this case the court and the victim of the crime loose their interest in following up the legal procedures. That means the detention is considered to be a part of punishment which contradicts to the principle of presumption of innocence. Another problem of the judicial system of the Dominican Republic is the chronic lack of appropriate resources to enforce the law which leads to the numerous human rights violations by keeping the suspected under the detention for a long period of time.

In most of the cases the detainees can not obtain the appropriate legal assistance from the system, though they are guaranteed to get it by the Constitution. This is the typical problem of the countries with the lack of democracy; the provisions of the constitutional democratic principles remain on paper and are not observed in reality. Alongside with the malpractices described above the penal and police systems of the Dominican Republic were involved in the extrajudicial executions of the citizens.

The Inter – American Commission received allegations of such conduct, as for example: "On February 23, police reacting to a disturbance at the Azъa prison reportedly killed three unarmed boys in cold blood. Two police lieutenants ... reportedly lined up the three 17-year-old boys ... against an interior wall of the prison, and fired repeatedly at them with shotguns.... " The authorities argue that those prisoners tried to escape. (Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, 1999).

A government according to Thomas Hobbes, a brilliant philosopher and the theoretician of the state is a collective Sovereign whose mission is to observe and protect the natural rights and the right to live is the most important of them, transferred to government by the members of the society. When the government kills its citizens unlawfully it violates not only human rights but the basic principle of the natural law, i. e. the basis of the entire legal system.

In case with the Dominican Government it was involved not into the illegal murders only but into forced disappearances of its political opponents. Though it was some 6-7 years ago but such actions committed by the Dominican Government are similar to those of Hussein and other rulers who were recognized by the world community as providers of genocide and the state terrorism. Inhuman treatment and tortures are prohibited by both international and Dominican laws take place in the Dominican Republic during the imprisonment as well as on the stage of the crime investigation.

The police and prison officers are encouraged to inhuman actions towards arrested or imprisoned by the impunity of their unlawful acts. The ugliest actions practiced by the police were detentions of the family members of suspected as a means to influence the suspected. Such actions were practiced by the Dominican police officers. It is naturally such actions could be interpreted by the civilized laws as nothing but kidnapping and blackmail.