Published On: Sat, Jun 20th, 2020

Van Dam wants Kingdom to take control of Pointe Blanche prison

Foto TIM VAN DIJK

THE HAGUE – CDA-parliamentarian Chris van Dam wants the Netherlands to take control of the Pointe Blanche prison for the next five years. In a motion, he will present on Monday in a meeting of the Parliamentary Kingdom Relations Committee Van Dam asks the Kingdom Council of Ministers to manage the prison system while the costs of this exercise will be for the account of St. Maarten.

The Law Enforcement Council and the Progress Committee have repeatedly reported that the Pointe Blanche prison is completely inadequate for human detention and as a place to work, Van Dam writes in his motion.

Furthermore, he notes that according to the Progress Committee the Justice Ministry in St. Maarten does not have a grip on the prison system, that it does not have the capacity for it, and that it is unable to solve the situation without outside help.

Based on article 43 of the Kingdom Charter guaranteeing fundamental human rights, freedoms and legal security is a kingdom responsibility the motion states.

Van Dam, Chris - CDA Tweedekamer lidVan Dam has presented his motion ahead of Monday’s meeting to his counterparts in the St. Maarten Parliament. During the recent Inter-Parliamentary Kingdom Consultation (IPKO) participants agreed that members of the Parliaments in the Kingdom can inform each other more frequently about developments and issues that concern everyone.

During Monday’s committee-meeting ministers Grapperhaus (Justice and Safety), Dekker (Legal Protection) and State Secretary Knops will be present. On the agenda are reports from the Progress Committee and the Law Enforcement Council.

Van Dam seizes this opportunity to present his motion that urges the Kingdom Council of Ministers to intervene in St. Maarten’s prison system.

“There have been serious concerns about the situation in the Pointe Blanche prison for a long time,” Van Dam wrote to his fellow-parliamentarians. “That concern exists among many, also among politicians and the population of St. Maarten. In spite of all good intentions of the past couple of years, I note that it is not possible to achieve the minimally necessary improvements during the next couple of years. In my opinion, the human rights situation cannot withstand further delay and I feel responsible to find a solution for it.”

Van Dam points out that the Netherlands is partly responsible for the situation, based on the European Human Rights Treaty.

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Related links:
Motion Van Dam c.s. regarding take over Pointe Blanche prison in St. Maarten
Email Van Dam to St. Maarten IPKO committee members
Convocation meeting on Law Enforcement June 22, 2020
Motion Van Dam regarding take over law enforcement management St. Maarten