The Death of Human Rights Activist Sonia Pierre

Press Statement
Mark C. Toner
Deputy Spokesperson, Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
December 6, 2011

We are deeply saddened by the death of Sonia Pierre. She was a courageous human rights defender who dedicated her life to fighting anti-Haitian injustice in the Dominican Republic as well as the broader issue of statelessness. Secretary Clinton awarded Ms. Pierre, founder of Movement of Dominican-Haitian Women (MUDHA), the State Department’s 2010 International Women of Courage Award in March 2010. The award honored Ms. Pierre “for advancing the cause of social justice, confronting exploitation and discrimination, defending the dignity of persons of Haitian descent in the Dominican Republic, and helping marginalized communities develop their own voices for their own future.”

We offer our sincere condolences to her family and to all the communities she touched in her lifelong fight against injustice in the Dominican Republic.

Through her brave actions, the world bears witness to the plight of those who remain stateless. The U.S. government will continue its efforts to address this problem which endangers the human rights of as many as 12 million people worldwide and deprives them access to crucial services such as healthcare, education, and safe housing and working conditions.

PRN: 2011/2082