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Author Junot Díaz Called Anti-Dominican & Striped Of Award For Standing Up For Immigrants

junot-diaz-01

Who knew it was unpatriotic to have an opinion?

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Junot Díaz writer of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao lost his  order of merit award after campaigning on behalf of undocumented Haitian immigrants in Dominican republic.

According to the article below by The Guardian

The author Junot Díaz has been accused of being unpatriotic and stripped of an award, after he campaigned in Washington for the rights of undocumented immigrants.

Díaz, whose novel The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao won the 2008 Pulitzer prize, was called “anti-Dominican” on Thursday by the Dominican Republic’s consul in New York, Eduardo Selman. Selman also stripped Diaz of the order of merit award given to him in 2009, according to Spanish-language media.

Diaz, who was born in the Dominican Republic and moved to New Jersey at the age of six, went to Washington on Thursday with the Haitian American author Edwidge Danticat, there to urge the US government to take action to curb what they said was the persecution of large numbers of immigrants, mainly Haitians, in the Dominican Republic.

Diaz and Danticat have said the situation represents a “human rights crisis”, especially in the capital, Santo Domingo, where the government has ordered all undocumented immigrants to register or face immediate deportation.

Most such immigrants came to the DR across the land border that separates the two Caribbean countries.

Scenes of chaos have developed in Santo Domingo in recent weeks, as Haitians have lined up outside government buildings only to be unable to register. Some have been in the country for generations; others fled there after a catastrophic earthquake hit Haiti in 2010.

Díaz, who has called the situation a “state of terror”, has not commented since the consul spoke out on Thursday.

Selman issued a statement denying human rights violations by his government and calling Díaz’s actions anti-Dominican.

Picture courtesy of http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com
Picture courtesy of http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com

Díaz and Danticat have been speaking out against human rights violations in the Dominican Republic for years. The two authors wrote a New York Times opinion article in 1999, saying, “the expulsions are violations of the workers’ human rights and of the country’s own laws,” The New York Times reported.  Neither Díaz nor Danticat have responded to Selman’s statement.

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