The Czech authorities are holding thousands of refugees "for the purposes of deportation"
17. 9. 2015 / Jan Čulík
Although the Czech government has promised recently that it would release Syrian refugees from detention and allow them to travel to Germany, where they have been offered asylum, it is still holding a considerable number of Syrians, says lawyer Kateřina Šimonová from the Prague Organisation for helping refugees.
She has seen approximately one thousand refugees which are held in the three Czech prison-like detention cetres in Bělá Jezová, Vyšní Lhoty and Zastávka u Brna.According to the Czech News Agency, the Czech Republic is holding 2500 refugees and immigrants.
Ms Šimonová testifies that the Czech authorities still hold many Syrians, Afghanis and other nationalities. There are a number of pregnant women amongst the detainees and many children, especially very small children.
The Czech authorities have released some 200-300 Syrian refugees, namely only those of them who have been fingerprinted in Hungary. Why have they released only these people? The rationale seems mind-boggling: Since the Czech authorities have evidence that these people have been registered in Hungary, they want to deport them to that country. This is however impossible because Hungary does not accept any refugees. Hence, the Czech authorities release these people.
All the other refugees remain in detention. What is the purpose of detaining them? The official reason given by the Czech authorities is that "they are being detained for the purposes of deportation". As is well known, these people do not even want to be in the Czech Republic. They were arrested by the Czech police en route to Germany.
The refugees may be held by the Czech authorities for up to 180 days. The refugees' cash and their mobiles are confiscated, their family and travelling groups are broken up. There is not sufficient food in the detention centres and the refugees are starving. The Czech authorities are charging them for their imprisonment.