The foreigner police in their decision on detention refer to the EU’s “Dublin Regulation,” adopted two years ago, under which refugees are returned to the country where they entered the Schengen Area for the first time. They can be detained only in the case of “a serious risk of escape,” LN says.
It writes about Salah, an Iraqi refugee, who was first registered in Hungary, but he did not wait for asylum there and tried to get to Germany, where relatives were waiting for him, via the Czech Republic. He was caught by the foreigner police and detained with his two daughters,aged three and five years, in the facility in Bela pod Bezdezem, central Bohemia.
Salah, with the assistance of the Organisation for Aid to Refugees (OPU), filed a lawsuit against the foreigner police and won the dispute, LN adds.
The Regional Court in Usti ns Labem, north Bohemia, ruled in June that the police must not refer to the particular article of the Dublin Regulation and it cancelled the decision of the basis of which Salah’s family ended up in Bela.
LN writes that the court has decided so because legislators forgot to precisely define “the risk of escape,” which the EU regulation explicitly requires. The regulation cannot exist in the Czech law without such addendum, and consequently no one can be detained according to it.
This is a legal precedent, the court says, since all previous lawsuits challenged the course of the administrative proceedings, but not their substance, LN writes.
It adds that the Czech court took similar cases in the neighbouring Germany and Austria into consideration in which courts decided in favour of refugees.
On the basis of the verdict, Salah’s family was released and now they stay in Germany
LN writes that the Prague Municipal Court is to deal with a similar case, but it need not the previous verdict into account. Other suits may follow.
The Interior Ministry has no taken any measures over the verdict. “We have not issued any instructions for the police in connection with the verdict,” Hana Mala, from the ministry’s press section, told LN.
The situation will be solved by a planned amendment to the law on foreigners’ stay that made it through first reading in the Chamber of Deputies in June. It defines “a serious risk of escape” in harmony of the EU requirements.
Under the amendment, almost every migrant can be suspected of escape, even if they keep silent about the intention as it can be “apparent from their conduct,” LN writes.
It says the foreigner police can place refugees in various facilities in the Czech Republic.
Detention facilities, such as that in Bela, are used for the foreigners who have received a police decision on administrative expulsion from the country. Apart from Bela and Zastavka u Brna, south Moravia, the government wants to open them in Vysni Lhoty, north Moravia, and Balkova, west Bohemia. The total number of beds in them should be raised to 1,200 by the year’s end.
Those who seek asylum in the Czech Republic, are sent to admission centres where they are identified and undergo a medical check-up and a personal interview. They are in Zastavka u Brna and at the Vaclav Havel Airport Prague.
In addition, there are five accommodation and integration centres for the foreigners waiting for asylum or who have just been granted it with a total capacity of 526 beds. Immigrants stay there voluntarily.
The Interior Ministry expects 3,500 illegal immigrants to come to the 10.5-million Czech Republic this year and up to 7,000 are expected next year.