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Government of St. Maarten denounced the march for the Palestines.

PHILIPSBURG:--- The Government of St. Maarten acknowledges the increasing severity of the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Gaza. As a multi-ethnic and diverse country, we have welcomed many to our shores, and we extend our heartfelt condolences to both the Palestinian and the Israeli people and diaspora, who have been impacted by this conflict.

While recognizing the fundamental human right to protest and express oneself, enshrined in our Constitution, the Government also has a role to ensure that this right does not infringe on the rights of others.

In this regard the Government has taken note of the concerning propaganda on social media related to the march on November 19, 2023. This propaganda promotes the destruction of property and the burning of national flags. Certain acts should not take place on St. Maarten where the inclusiveness of many nationalities reside on its peaceful shores.

The expected unrest as well as direct and severe risk for public order that this march could create in the community of St. Maarten, is of great concern to the Government of St. Maarten.

Pursuant to Article 5, paragraph 2, in conjunction with Article 2 of the National Ordinance on Public Manifestations, the Minister of Justice has the authority to prohibit a demonstration for the protection of health, in the interests of traffic and to prevent or control disorder.

The possibility of placing restrictions on the demonstration have been extensively reviewed. However, it is concluded that these restrictions will insufficiently take away the aforementioned expected unrest as well as direct and severe risk for public order.

The Veiligheidsdienst Sint Maarten (National Security Services St. Maarten) and the Korps Politie Sint Maarten (Police Force St. Maarten) were consulted on the matter. After careful consideration, the Government has decided to prohibit the march for Palestine which was scheduled for November 19, 2023.

 

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