Torture by Police, Forced Disappearance
& Other Ill Treatment
In the early years of the 21st Century, 2000 to
CAUTION: The following links
have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in the Dominican
Republic. Some of these links may lead
to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated or even
false. No attempt has been made to validate their authenticity or to
verify their content.
HOW TO USE THIS WEBPAGE
If you are looking for
material to use in a term-paper, you are advised to scan the postings on this
page and others to see which aspects of Torture by Authorities are of
particular interest to you. You might
be interested in exploring the moral justification for inflicting pain or
inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment in order to obtain critical
information that may save countless lives, or to elicit a confession for a
criminal act, or to punish someone to teach him a lesson outside of the
courtroom. Perhaps your paper might
focus on some of the methods of torture, like fear, extreme temperatures,
starvation, thirst, sleep deprivation, suffocation, or immersion in freezing
water. On the other hand, you might
choose to write about the people acting in an official capacity who
perpetrate such cruelty. There is a
lot to the subject of Torture by Authorities.
Scan other countries as well as this one. Draw comparisons between activity in
adjacent countries and/or regions.
Meanwhile, check out some of the Term-Paper
resources that are available on-line.
Police routinely use rape and commit other forms of torture to punish women
International AI, 28 March 2019
[accessed 20 May
The country also
has one of the region’s highest femicide rates,
with more than 100 cases recorded in 2017, according to the UN Gender
Equality Observatory for Latin America and the Caribbean. Similarly, 47
transgender women have been killed since 2006, according to the
transgender-led NGO Trans Siempre Amigas (TRANSSA).
At least 10 of the
24 cisgender women interviewed for this report said police officers had raped
them, often at gunpoint. Most of the transgender women had also suffered
discriminatory and violent actions (typically focused on their
gender-identity or expression) at the hands of the police,
that could amount to torture or other ill-treatment.
Reports on Human Rights Practices: Dominican Republic
U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and
Labor, 30 March 2021
[accessed 16 July
TORTURE AND OTHER
CRUEL, INHUMAN, OR DEGRADING TREATMENT OR PUNISHMENT
In May sex workers
in Santo Domingo reported to news outlets that police officers routinely beat
them as the sex workers attempted to work in violation of COVID-19
Impunity was a
problem within certain units of the security forces, particularly the
PRISON AND DETENTION
mistreatment and violence in old-model prisons were common, as were reports
of harassment, extortion, and inappropriate searches of prison visitors. Some
old-model prisons remained effectively outside the control of authorities,
and there were reports of drug trafficking, arms trafficking, prostitution,
and sexual abuse in those prisons. Wardens at old-model prisons often
controlled only the perimeter, while inmates controlled the inside with their
own rules and system of justice. Although the law mandates separation of
prisoners according to severity of offense, authorities did not do so.
AND TREATMENT OF DETAINEES
Organization for Migration (IOM) reported cases of Haitian migrants and their
children, as well as Dominicans of Haitian descent, being detained and
deported because authorities did not permit them to retrieve immigration or
citizenship documents from their residences.
[accessed 12 May
F3. IS THERE PROTECTION FROM THE ILLEGITIMATE
USE OF PHYSICAL FORCE AND FREEDOM FROM WAR AND INSURGENCIES?
Murder and other
violent crimes rates are high. Prisons are overcrowded. More than half of all
people in the country’s prisons are pretrial detainees, some of whom spend as
long as three years in detention.
The National Human
Rights Commission and NGOs report that security forces committed more than
100 extrajudicial killings in 2017, and that law enforcement agents continue
to engage in torture in order to extract confessions from detainees.
death after torture
International AI, AI-Index: AMR 27/006/2014, 16 April 2014
[accessed 19 April
information received, both men were tortured during two hours under police
custody and were threatened with death if they reported it. Luis Manuel Lember Martínez was allegedly
shot in the leg by police officers on the way to the police station, and they
later introduced a padlock in his wound. Both men said to have been severely
beaten on the buttocks with a plank, had their heads wrapped with black bags
and been beaten in the head, the arm and the chest. Luis Manuel reported
being given electric shocks in his legs. Eduardo Luis Cruz told Amnesty
International he was beaten with a plank in the testicles and had a bottle of
water hung from them.
From an old article -- URL not available
published sometime prior to 2015
IMPUNITY - Many alleged
abuses by the police remained unpunished, despite compelling evidence.
failed to clarify the enforced disappearance of Gabriel Sandi Alistar and Juan Almonte
Herrera. The men were last seen in police custody in July and September 2009
respectively. Their whereabouts remained unknown at the end of 2012.
In February, the
Inter-American Court of Human Rights established state responsibility for the
enforced disappearance of journalist Narciso
González Medina in 1994. In October, the Court found the state responsible
for the killing of seven Haitian migrants by members of the armed forces in
Search … AMNESTY
articles:: Search Amnesty
[accessed 31 December
EARLIER EDITIONS OF SOME OF THE ABOVE ***
Reports » 2005 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices
[accessed 24 January
[accessed 3 July
AND OTHER CRUEL, INHUMAN, OR DEGRADING TREATMENT OR PUNISHMENT – Although the law
prohibits such practices, security force personnel, primarily mid-level and
lower-ranking members of the police, continued to torture, beat, and
otherwise physically abuse detainees and prisoners.
The law provides
penalties for torture and physical abuse, including sentences of 10 to 15
years in prison. Civilian prosecutors sometimes filed charges against police
and military officials alleging torture, physical abuse, and related crimes.
New abuse and torture cases were remanded to civilian criminal courts as they
arose; mid-level officers sometimes contested civilian jurisdiction (see
officials took the prohibition on torture and physical abuse seriously, but
lack of supervision, training, and accountability throughout the law enforcement
and corrections systems undercut efforts to contain the problem. Human rights
groups reported repeated instances of physical abuse of detainees, including
various forms of torture, beatings, and sexual abuse.
According to human
rights organizations, both the National Police and prison officials used
forms of torture. The method most often used was beating. Human rights
organizations also reported asphyxiation with plastic bags to elicit
confessions as a form of torture.
Lawyers from the
National District Prosecutor's Office monitored the investigative process to
ensure that detainees' rights were respected in high-volume police stations
and in several National Drug Control Directorate (DNCD) offices (see section
1.d.). There was some evidence that assistant prosecutors at times acquiesced
in traditional police practices rather than attempt to raise these practices
to constitutional standards. However, with the implementation of the new
Criminal Procedures Code in September 2004, detainees received additional
protections, and respect for detainee rights improved, including through
increased enforcement of time limits for pretrial detention (see section
Both the National
Police and armed forces offered training courses in human rights (see section
Country Report - Political Rights: 2 Civil Liberties: 2 Status: Free
[accessed 24 January
ç 2009 Country Reports begin on Page 21
[accessed 12 May
headed by the Supreme Court, is politicized and riddled with corruption, and
the legal system offers little recourse to those without money or influence.
However, reforms implemented in recent years, including measures aimed at
promoting greater efficiency and due process, show some promise of increasing
citizen access to justice. In 2004, a new criminal procedures code gave
suspects additional protections, and a new code for minors improved
safeguards against sexual and commercial exploitation.
by police remain a problem, and low salaries encourage endemic corruption in
law enforcement institutions. However, the Fernandez administration has
undertaken serious police reform efforts and has begun to refer cases of
military and police abuse to civilian courts instead of nontransparent police
or military tribunals.
material used herein reproduced under the fair use exception of 17 USC § 107
for noncommercial, nonprofit, and educational use. PLEASE RESPECT COPYRIGHTS OF COMPONENT
webpage as: Patt, Prof. Martin, "Torture by Police, Forced Disappearance
& Other Ill Treatment in the early years of the 21st Century- Dominican
Republic", http://gvnet.com/torture/DominicanRepublic.htm, [accessed