Facilities for the Detention of Foreigners
Visits and Activities in 2010
In the second quarter of 2010, the Defender made systematic visits to facilities where there are foreigners in the administrative detention regime. This concerned two facilities for the detention of foreigners where – based on § 130 of the Act on the Residence of Foreigners in the Czech Republic (Act No. 326/1999 Coll., as subsequently amended) – they provide their securing for the purpose of administrative deportation, exit or handover or extradition in transit. Also, two asylum facilities that are used – pursuant to § 79, Paragraph 1 of the Asylum Act (Act No. 325/1999 Coll., as subsequently amended) – to accommodate applicants for international protection for the time necessary to perform operations according to § 46 of the Asylum Act were selected. In 2010, the Defender visited all facilities in the Czech Republic that are used to detain foreigners or initially place asylum seekers (hereafter simply „Facilities“).
Apart from the reception centre in Zastávka u Brna, this was the second systematic visit to these facilities. The first visits were made in 2006 and 2007. For this reason, the visits were not conceived of as just the seeking of new facts but also focused on evaluating and supplementing the original recommendations of the Defender. The visits were not announced in advance, lasted one day, two days in one case, and were always made by four Office employees.
The operator of all the facilities includes the Refugee Facilities Administration of the Ministry of the Interior (hereafter simply „Refugee Facilities Administration“), the employees of which take care of the regular operation of the facility, acquaint foreigners with the environment, identify their needs, provide leisure activities, etc. Health care at facilities is provided by the Medical Facility of the Ministry of the Interior (hereafter simply „Medical Facility“). The surveillance of the facilities for the detention of foreigners is provided by the Police of the Czech Republic – Alien Police Service (hereafter simply „Alien Police“ or „Police“), which also ensure the so-called strict regime and carry out searches of persons at these facilities. The Alien Police are present in the reception centres but only provide searches of foreigners or escorts. In the reception centres and facilities for the detention of foreigners there are also workers from private security agencies whose task is to provide internal safety and keep order.
After visiting the facilities, the Defender initiated negotiations with representatives of the Refugee Facilities Administration, Medical Facility, Alien Police and Asylum and Migration Policy Department of the Ministry of the Interior (hereafter simply „Asylum and Migration Policy Department“). Issues relating to individual recommendations were discussed and statements from all parties concerned were clarified, too.