The Public Defender of Rights

Protection of Persons Restricted in their Freedom

Facilities for the Detention of Foreigners

Visits and Activities in 2011

The Defender continued his monitoring of treatment in facilities for the detention of foreigners in 2011 by visiting the Bělá – Jezová Facility for the Detention of Foreigners. His visit concentrated one some specific issues.

In relation to the performance of security searches, in some cases they were found to be unreasonably harsh (e.g. the obligation to stand in the corridor during the search, facing the wall, with hands put against the wall), failure to provide advice of the extent and reasons for the search and failure to allow those foreigners who were found (partly) undressed to put the dress on. All the police officers who performed searches were advised that any rude behaviour towards the detained foreigners would not be tolerated. They were also advised of the obligation to perform the search reasonably and the necessity to bring the foreigners’ rooms into a condition suitable for normal use after the search. All the police officers who performed searches were informed with particular emphasis that any destruction of the foreigners’ items would not be tolerated and is punishable.

In relation to the placement in the strict regime, the Defender requires the Police to consistently ensure that a foreigner who does not understand Czech receives the advice form in a language version (s)he will sufficiently understand. The Defender further recommended that the period of 48 hours applicable to the placement of a foreigner in the strict regime should be consistently monitored and the complaint procedure should be better communicated. He also pointed out that, if the period of placement of a foreigner in the strict regime exceeds 48 hours, a decision on the placement must be issued in administrative proceedings. In terms of the handcuffing of foreigners during escorts, the Defender recommended that the Police consistently indicate in the decisions on escorting whether handcuffing is to be used or not; in decisions on escorting involving several foreigners together, it should be indicated who of them will be handcuffed and who will not; and the reasons for handcuffing should be specified in more detail in the decisions.

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