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Dominican Republic Rejects Human Rights Report

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Haitian workers wait for Dominican army soldiers to open the gate to cross the border between Haiti and Dominican Republic in Dajabon, some 225 miles northwest of Santo Domingo, Wednesday, March. 21, 2007. Haitian migrants face systematic discrimination, violence and deportation without due process from the Dominican Republic, according to a report released Wednesday by human rights watchdog Amnesty International.(AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa) | ASSOCIATED PRESS

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (AP) — The Dominican Republic on Saturday rejected a human rights report that accuses the government of discrimination following a court ruling that could strip the citizenship of thousands of people born to migrants living there illegally.

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights said the Caribbean country was deciding people's nationalities based on private arbitration.

Commission President Jose de Jesus Orozco said the organization received nearly 4,000 testimonies and complaints from people affected by a court ruling that states those born in the Dominican Republic since 1929 to foreigners living illegally in the country are not automatically granted citizenship.

The administration of Danilo Medina criticized the report in a statement and said the finding was a "subjective, partial and unilateral version" of the issue. Officials also defended the court ruling.

"The government is acting in accordance with our constitution, and as such, it will follow the court's ruling," the statement said.

Human rights groups have said an estimated 200,000 people could lose their citizenship, the majority of those of Haitian descent. The government insists that only some 24,000 would be affected.

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