Mon, Jul 11, 2016 - Page 5 News List

Bahamas issues warning to men traveling to the US

The Guardian

The government of the Bahamas has warned young men traveling to the US on vacation to “exercise extreme caution” when interacting with police, following the recent shootings of black men by police officers.

The island nation of about 300,000 people, which lies off the coast of Florida, issued the rare travel guidance this week.

The Bahamian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said many Bahamians would be traveling to destinations, including the US, on the island nation’s independence holiday weekend.

“We wish to advise all Bahamians traveling to the US, but especially to the affected cities, to exercise appropriate caution generally. In particular, young males are asked to exercise extreme caution in affected cities in their interactions with the police. Do not be confrontational and cooperate,” the statement read.

“If there is any issue, please allow consular offices for the Bahamas to deal with the issues. Do not get involved in political or other demonstrations under any circumstances and avoid crowds,” the statement added.

The Bahamas has consulates in New York, Washington, Miami and Atlanta, Georgia, as well as honorary consuls in Los Angeles; Chicago; Denver, Colorado; and Houston, Texas.

It won independence from Britain on July 10, 1973, and remains a member of the Commonwealth.

The US regularly issues travel advisories for its citizens visiting other countries.

In January, the US embassy in Nassau issued a warning about crime in the Bahamian capital, which sparked complaints from many businesses.

The Bahamian economy is heavily dependent on tourism.

The Bahamian travel warning came as thousands took to the streets of US cities on Friday to protest against the fatal shooting by police of two black men this week.

On Tuesday last week, 37-year-old Alton Sterling was fatally shot by police in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, while the following day, 32-year-old Philando Castile was shot dead by an officer near St Paul, Minnesota.

Friday’s marches followed a similar protest in Dallas on Thursday night, where a gunman shot dead five police officers.

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