Czech Republic Using “Worse than Prison” Approach to Keep Refugees Out

The Czech Republic has openly put all refugees coming into their country in detention centers and, as a result of poor conditions, fear has spread across the regional migrant population. Nevertheless, local politicians who see the number of incoming refugees dwindle consider the policy a success.

While many countries scramble to put up fences, the Czechs are putting refugees inside fences to keep them under control. The United Nations condemned the conditions last week as a violation to the migrants’ human rights. The Czechs are by no means denying the tough conditions. Justice Minister Robert Pelikan proudly described the detention centers as “worse than prisons” earlier this month and ministers have been criticized for claiming that the system works.

The policy has been highly effective in deterring refugees from trying to enter the country. So far around 1,000 asylum applications have been received since January, a number Germany matches within just hours.

The situation has now gotten to a point where the European Court for Human Rights Tuesday ordered the country to “release” an Afghan family of six.

As described to Deutsche Welle by a volunteer worker, arriving refugees are subject to a daily fee of more than $10 to stay in the detention centers and are stripped of personal possessions. A bathroom break can take hours to get approved.

Czech President Milos Zeman has made headlines for repeated comments against Islamic immigration. Over the weekend he said migrants are using “children as human shields” and previously stated that women’s beauty will be lost since women are “covered head-to-toe in burqas.”