Dominican Republic: Information on the procedure for dealing with deserters and on the penalties for desertion, if any, in addition to court martial
|Publisher||Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada|
|Author||Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada|
|Publication Date||1 January 1995|
|Citation / Document Symbol||DOM19376.E|
|Cite as||Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Dominican Republic: Information on the procedure for dealing with deserters and on the penalties for desertion, if any, in addition to court martial, 1 January 1995, DOM19376.E, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6ac6268.html [accessed 24 May 2013]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
The following information was provided to the DIRB in a telephone interview by a representative of Carrefour des amitiés interculturelles Québec-République Dominicaine in Montréal, who sought information on the above-mentioned topic from legal sources in the Dominican Republic (6 Jan. 1995).
Military service is not compulsory in the Dominican Republic. Army recruits sign a four-year contract, and they require their superiors' authorization to leave the army before the end of that contract. Soldiers authorized to leave the army before or at the end of their contract are issued a discharge document called La baga, which indicates under what specific conditions the individual is leaving the army and the reasons for departure.
Soldiers who leave army duty without authorization are considered deserters and, as a consequence, cannot obtain a passport and are not authorized to leave the country. If a deserter leaves the country, the authorities will seek extradition. If captured, deserters are brought before a martial court and face prison terms which vary between six months and one year, depending on the circumstances surrounding the desertion. At the end of the sentence, a deserter is officially discharged from the army and is issued La Baga, which provides the reasons for discharge. Deserters sentenced following court martial are not considered criminals and are not subject to any further penalty following their discharge. Most desertions occur when soldiers are stationed in hardship postings. Soldiers who commit common law offenses are immediately discharged and sent to civil courts. For information on the army of the Dominican Republic, please refer to the attached document.
This response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the DIRB within time constraints. This response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum.
Carrefour des amitiés interculturelles Québec-République Dominicaine, Montréal. 6 January 1994. Telephone interview with representative.
Wiarda, Howard J. and Kryzanek, Michael J. 1992. 2nd ed. The Dominican Republic: A Caribbean Crucible. Boulder, Col.: Westview Press, pp. 70-73.