The Public Defender of Rights

Protection of Persons Restricted in their Freedom

Facilities for the Detention of Foreigners

Visits and Activities in 2006

In the course of the second quarter of 2006, systematic visits were carried out in four facilities for the detention of foreigners [the provisions of Section 1 (4) (b) of the Public Defender of Rights Act]. One of the reasons for these visits was in particular the amendment to Act No. 326/1999 Coll., on the Residence of Foreigners on the Territory of the Czech Republic as amended, which has led, as of January 1, 2006, to a transfer of facilities for the detention of foreigners (hereinafter FDF) under the Refugee Establishments Administration of the Ministry of the Interior of the CR (hereinafter REA). Until then, these establishments had been governed by the Police of the CR.

FDF are establishments where persons of foreign citizenship are restricted in their freedom of movement. They are issued with a decision on detention in accordance with the provisions of Section 124 (1) of Act No. 326/1999 Coll. on the Residence of Foreigners on the Territory of the Czech Republic as amended (hereinafter the Act). The amendment mentioned above aims to ensure that limitations of the rights and freedoms of detained foreigners do not exceed the extent necessary for the purposes of their detention. Internal regulations governing the running of such establishments should measure up to those common in reception centres of asylum facilities, with the difference that foreigners in detention facilities do not have the right to leave the facility in the course of their detention (except in certain cases defined by law). Changes have been made to the regime governing receiving of visitors, to the conditions of leave from the facility with children; there is a greater focus on the need for leisure activities, and on the provision of psychological and social care. The scope of activities governed by the internal regulations of the facility (hereinafter IR) was also substantially broadened. Provisions governing the obligations of foreigners placed within the facility have been further specified as has the procedure to be followed by the Ministry of the Interior of the CR (hereinafter the Ministry) and the Foreign and Border Police (hereinafter the FBP) on ending the period of detention. In the sense of the Convention on the Rights of the Child special conditions have been introduced for the detention of children aged between 15 and 18 residing in the Czech Republic unaccompanied by a legal representative. Since the coming into force of the amendment, the Police of the CR merely carry out necessary indispensable activities and tasks entrusted to them by the provisions of Section 164 and subsequent laws. At present, the Police of the CR merely ensures security along the perimeters of facilities and security in areas with so-called high security regime.

Law and order within FDF is ensured by a private security agency (hereinafter PSA). The employees of the Office visited all four existing facilities (Poštorná, Frýdek-Místek, Velké Přílepy and Bělá-Jezová).

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