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NGOs: Czech Republic helps maintain migration crisis

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Prague, Sept 24 (CTK) – The Czech Republic helps maintain the migration crisis by the refusal to bear its humanitarian responsibility, the Czech Consortium of Migrants Assisting Organisations said Thursday.

The country cannot act as a passive victim of a ‘crisis,’ the consortium said.

As the Czech Republic sent soldiers to Iraq and Afghanistan and delivered arms to the Syrian and Iraqi regimes, it bears responsibility for the development in the region, the NGOs writes in reaction to a joint statement that the four prime ministers of the Visegrad Group (V4) countries made earlier this month.

In early September, the Czech, Hungarian, Polish and Slovak PMs expressed regret over the loss of lives in connection with the migration wave.

The consortium said regret was not enough.

The Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia fully supported Hungary in its effort to manage the refugee influx. The V4 countries agreed that the outer borders of the European Union should be controlled and protected, that the aid should be voluntary and that the causes of the conflicts in the home regions of the refugees should be dealt with.

The consortium criticised the steps Hungary took against refugees.

Hungary creates a humanitarian crisis at its border, tries to discourage the asylum applicants by its military and uses tear gas against the refugees. It forces the refugees to return to Serbia, which will not provide shelter to them, the consortium said.

The countries keep playing with the lives of refugees and use a buck-passing strategy, it said.

The Czech government takes an uncritical stance on Hungary, although this goes against the democratic principles of the country, the consortium wrote.

It called on the government to reject violence against refugees, such as the use of truncheons and tear gas.

The consortium said Czech politicians insisted on using the term “migrant” rather than “refugee” because this lowered the humanitarian urgency of the conditions of the refugees and the government’s direct and acute responsibility for them according to Czech and international law.

Czech authorities divided refugees into Syrians and the others, although Afghanis, Iraqis and other people fleeing from war had the right to be helped as well, the consortium said.

It also criticised the government for considering the refugees a security risk. “We urge our government to take a more realistic attitude and take no part in this false and dangerous view,” the consortium wrote.

The Consortium associates 18 organisations, including People in Need, the Organisation for Aid to Refugees, La Strada, the Association for Integration and Migration and the Czech Charity.

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