Czech state charges refugees for medical help in emergencies. Refuses to provide nappies for babies
13. 10. 2015
The detention centre in Bělá-Jezová in the Czech Republic is operated strictly as a prison, say two independent Czech lawyers who have just visited the facility.
- The prisoners in Bělá-Jezová include families with small children (2, 4 years of age) and also pregnant women.
- No proper medical care is available. If there is a medical emergency, the inmates are transported to medical facilities outside the prison and they are charged for it.
- If the imprisoned refugees apply for legal assistance, they are forced to wait for a permission to communicate with a lawyer. The permission is usually given only after the deadline for submitting a complaint has expired, so it is impossible for them to defend themselves at court. The Czech state does not provide any legal aid to the imprisoned refugees. Legal assistance is provided by non-profit organisations and by volunteer lawyers who work for the refugees for free.
- Most of the imprisoned refugees are afraid to submit any complaint because they believe that if they give power of attorney to their legal representative, the authorities will revenge themselves on them by extending their imprisonment.
- Children are in accommodation which is not properly heated.
- Basic hygienic assistance (nappies, etc.) is denied to infants and to pregnant women.
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From 1st November, 2015, Czech prison service will participate in guarding the refugees who are being held in the detention centres. According to the Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka, it is "necessary to extend the detention facilities to meet current needs". HERE