Thursday, 19 October 2017

Court says Afghan family kept in detention unlawfully

ČTK |
16 November 2015

Brno, Nov 13 (CTK) - An Afghan family with three small children is kept in the Czech detention facility in Bela-Jezova, central Bohemia, unlawfully, the Regional Court in Brno says in its ruling CTK has at its disposal, but the police can appeal it.

The court said the valid law on the stay of foreigners in the Czech Republic does not allow the family´s detention.

The prepared amending of the law does not offer too many chances of improving the refugees´ position in the country, Martin Rozumek, director of the Organisation for Aid to Refugees (OPU), told CTK on Friday.

"This is our fifth court success in a case where we came in aid of refugees placed in detention in a Czech refugee facility," Rozumek said.

He said the Czech Republic should clearly define in the law on foreigners´ stay why a refugee should be placed in a detention facility, but the valid law does not contain this provision.

Foreigner police spokeswoman Katerina Rendlova said a total of 2403 foreigners were placed in a detention facility from January until August, 2015, and 123 of them complained about it or about an extension of their detention after they spent 180 days in the facility.

Courts have turned down 88 complaints and refugees succeeded in 35 cases.

"The detained foreigners turn to court very rarely," Rendlova said.

Rozumek said the Dublin Regulation, to which the Czech Republic has acceded, obliges countries to describe in law the criteria by which the danger of that a refugee will flee should be assessed. If the criteria are non-existent, no refugee should be kept in detention.

"By its ruling, the regional court again challenged the assertion of the Czech Interior Ministry that it is proceeding in consistence with Czech and international law," Rozumek said.

The Czech Supreme Administrative Court (NSS), in connection with the disputes over the fate of refugees, sent to the EU Court a "preliminary question" that is to give a clear stance on the rightfulness of detention of migrants in a situation where the Czech law does not define the above criteria.

The question concerns the foreigners who are to be relocated to another EU country for assessment of their asylum application according to the Dublin Regulation.

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