Bela pod Bezdezem, North Bohemia, Aug 9 (CTK) – Some 20 people attended a rally in support of refugees, called by the Connexion and the Living Together in Peace NGOs and the Czech Young Greens, outside the Jezova centre for illegal immigrants yesterday afternoon.
One opponent of the immigrants, wearing the banner “Islam has no place in the Czech Republic,” also came to the rally.
The area around the centre was watched by the police that checked both the drivers and passers-by, but no incident occurred.
The demonstrators demanded a better asylum policy of the Czech Republic and observation of human rights.
They expressed the view that the refugees were being detained in the Jezova centre in contradiction with both international and Czech laws.
They said entire families along with small children were being held in the detention facilities.
The demonstrators shouted the slogans “You are not alone” and “We are here with you,” praying together for the displaced persons’ fate.
Bela pod Bezdezem Mayor Milan Lomoz told CTK he was not happy at the attention paid to Bela in connection with the detention facility.
“I do not think the demonstration will help anything, let alone the migrants,” Lomoz said.
The protesters argued that keeping children in the facilities of the prison type violates the international convention on children’s rights the Czech Republic has signed.
However, Miloslav Koudelny, director of the Refugee Facilities Administration, said earlier that the children were not detained in the centres, only “accommodated along with the detained” adults and the families sometimes move from the centre to a facility with a more liberal regime.
The demonstrators waved the banners saying “Hatred is no solution,” and “Let us sort waste, not people.”
A tense situation has been in Jezova recently. Due to the rebellions and destruction of property in the centre, police reinforcements from Prague and other regions are patrolling there.
The centre mostly includes illegal immigrants who are primarily heading for Germany. These are mostly Afghans, Syrians and Iraqis.
The capacity of the centre was recently raised to 700 people.
Rallies for and against refugees were also held in Prague and the Cinovec/Zinnwald Czech-German border crossing on Saturday.
The Czech Republic is one of the EU countries with the smallest number of asylum applicants as the Interior Ministry only registered 784 applications in the first six months of the year, according to the data of the Eurostat and reports of the Czech and Austrian interior ministries.
In the same time, Hungary recorded 85 times more refugees, Austria 36 times, Switzerland 15 times and Bulgaria nine times more of them.
Fewer refugees than in the Czech Republic are seeking shelter in the Baltic countries, Slovakia and Slovenia.