Press Release: The Czech Supreme Court condemned the conduct of police at the airport

The Supreme Administrative Court agreed with Kurdish mother and son who were detained with their whole family in the tranzit zone of the Vaclav Havel Airport in Prague in December 2016 and were supposed to be deported immediately. The court said that issuing administrative expulsion was contrary to Art.31 of the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees according to which states shall not penalize refugees for their unlawful entries  provided they present themselves without delay to the authorities and show good cause for their unlawful entry. The court also pointed out that the case differs substantially from other cases, as the family arrived legally with valid visas issued by the Czech Embassy, which were annulled at the airport. During the annulling of visas, the family had no interpreter available and no information how to proceed. Supreme Administrative Court, Nr. 10 Azs 213/2017 and 10 Azs 212/2017. OPU Director, Martin Rozumek, critized the conduct of police at the airport: “By conducting the so called push-backs, the Czech airport police systematically breaches the non-refoulement principle. Refugees must destroy their travel documents or self-harm themselves in order to have their asylum claim registered. The solution is simple – an independent oversight body be it the Ombudsman, UNHCR or an NGO