"Systematic" human rights violations of migrants in Czech Republic

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High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein. UN Photo/Pierre Albouy

The treatment of migrants and refugees arriving in the Czech Republic has been described by the UN Human Rights Commissioner as a "systematic" human rights violation.

Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein also accused the Czech authorities of detaining people in "degrading" conditions.

Daniel Dickinson reports.

The strongly worded statement from the High Commissioner comes as European countries continue to face record numbers of migrants and refugees from conflicts in the Middle East and Africa.

Zeid said the violations of the human rights of migrants are neither isolated nor coincidental, but systematic and appear to be an integral part of a policy by the Czech Government.

He also expressed concern about the conditions in detention facilities.

Zeid pinpointed Bìlá-Jezová facility, which the Czech Republic's own Minister of Justice Robert Pelikán has described as being "worse than a prison."

The High Commissioner referred to credible reports that migrants have been routinely strip-searched by the authorities looking to confiscate money in order to pay the US$10 per day charge for their involuntary stay in detention centres.

He said the fact that people are being forced to pay for their own detention is "particularly reprehensible."

Daniel Dickinson, United Nations

Duration: 1'01"


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