Login with your EA account
Need a new account?
Facebook user?
You can use your Facebook account to log in to European Alternatives:

EA home page » Commentary » Post-Schengen: a difficult situation in Slovak prisons
Post-Schengen: a difficult situation in Slovak prisons
(Photo by Michele Brancati-reportage: "Big Brother Slovacco")
"All persons deprived of their liberty shall be treated with respect for their human rights". (Art. 1- European Prison Rules)
On January 2007, 21, the Schengen Agreement has been estended to nine of the ten countries annexed in the European Union in 2004: Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Polonia, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Malta. The Schengen Agreement of 1985, after confirmed by a second threaty on June 1990, put forward a free movement for persons to cross borders between Member States, and a free circulation of goods and services: therefore, a stronger control against non-member States. For this reason have been checked between 2007-2008 all the way of each State to prevent illegal immigration. For the admittance, Slovakia had to built a virtual wall to the Ukrainian border: around 100 million Euros, for a third gave by European Union, is the price for this 97 km so-called "Big Brother": an huge placement of television camera, infrared, GPS, night viewer and surveillance transport ( snowmobile, SUV and helicopters) which inform the Sobranče headquarter of the Slovak border of the attempts to trespass the border outside the eleven official check-point. In the southern part, cameras have only 185m of distance between them: in the northern part, more difficult to control, there are special visual devices, which can distinguish men from animals until 5 km. Until 2008, around 2000 persons every year succeeded to illegally enter in the Slovak State, especially from the eastern border. After the agreement of 2007 between UE and Ukraine, anyone catched within 48 hours , will be immediately sent back: for the asylum applicants instead, the Geneva Convention, 1951, decided for a permit of stay into the detention centre of Hummené, waiting to know the result of their applications. Ukraine is considered a safe-country for EU, which funded the State with 2400 billion Euros between 1991 and 2006. Despite of this, Ukraine results a country where is very difficult to succeed for an asylum requests: official data show just 14 accepted requests out of 2643, on 2007. In both cases, for asylum and illegals in general, compulsory is to take fingerprints, and interrogate in the language known, explaining the reason of their detention. Human Rights Watch shown a Report around the problems of this situation: in the detention centres of Chop, Pavshino and Mukachewo, forms are all just Cyrillic, and there are none advocates nor translators, and the corruption rate is very high: paying you can easily find someone disposed to help you. On 2005 the CPT (European Commitee for the Prevention of Torture) made a Report about the situation of detention centres in Ukraine. The detention structures are inappropriate to support the large number of immigrants: in L'viv cells have 12 beds in 18mq; in Chop 17 into 28mq; a number which seems to be insufficient and clearly far from the European standard, expressed in the "European Prison Rules", which involve at least enforce to adjust laws with the European rules. For the hygienic problem, in some of the centres, prisoners have only a plastic bag instead of a toilet; also, the health service is usually not guarantee and the monitoring of contagious diseases does not exist. In plenty of cases, Ukraine violated the Art 33 of the European Convention for Refugees, 1951, the Principle of non-refoulement, the international law which consist in the protection of the prisoners from State where their freedom is not completely guaranteed. In the last months, grown up the debate around prisons in all the European State, and the rehabilitation for prisoners is far to be easily resolved: but we can not forget that prisoners, for any kind of criminal offence, have the right of a fair and proportioned punishment, and EU can not hide beyond the European rethoric. There is a need to develop efficiently the European Prison Rules, because is fair enough that the moral obbligation to adapt to them, is yet so far by the complete realization.
Add your comments
Related articles
Follow us on Facebook
European Alternatives is first and foremost as a transnational community of activists. The organisation was started with the ambition of bringing together people who want to create a better Europe for a better world.
Join now European Alternatives
Mailing list
ONE email per month with UPDATES on events, projects and new publications!
Cool! You successfully subscribed to our mailing list!