17. 10. 2015
In an interview with the controversial, tabloid, highly popular Czech server Parlamentní listy, the Czech President Miloš Zeman sharply criticised the Czech ombudsman Anna Šabatová for pointing out that conditions in the Czech refugee detention centres are worse than in regular prisons and that the children which are being detained there are being seriously traumatised. Having visited the Czech refugee prison in Bělá-Jezová several times, Šabatová provided evidence that the Czech Republic is infringing international covenants, including the European Convention on Human Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. More details about her public statement are here: HERE.
"As far as I know, normal medical assistance is available to the refugee children, they have enough to eat, they are in heated rooms, they are dressed. As usual, Mrs. Šabatová is not very well informed," said Zeman and continued, "The standard of living of the refugees is much better here in comparison to what their lives were like in their home countries and I think it is perfectly sufficient."
A number of visitors to the Czech refugee prisons have in fact testified that the children do not have warm clothing or proper shoes, they often go hungry and there is nowhere for them to play. They are being woken up in the middle of the night regularly by Czech police in riot gear and they must stand at attention while they are being counted. Most of them cry.
In his interview for Parlamentní listy, Zeman also criticised the European Union for blaming Bashar al Assad for the refugee crisis. He said, "Assad's influence is evidently limitless, since the refugees are coming also from Pakistan, Sudan, Senegal, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan and other countries." Zeman said that it is illegitimate for the West to demand that Assad should be deposed. "Assad should only go if he is defeated in free elections. Interventions by the West have backfired in Iraq, they have backfired in Libya and I do not see any reason why to continue in this. If someone in the Arab world insisted that President Barack Obama must leave office, surely the Americans would regard this as interference in their internal affairs. Of course, Assad is not a democratic politician, but there are at least several dozen non-democratic politicians throughout the world and I do not understand why the West insists that only Assad must leave."
In connection with the case of a young man who is to be crucified in Saudi Arabia, Zeman criticised the culture of that country, saying that "my criticism can hardly be called inappropriate, even if you label in 'islamophobic'". In this statement, Zeman hit back at the Council of Europe which has recently slammed him for whipping up islamophobia in the Czech Republic.
Zeman also said that he was very pleased that the new Polish president Andrzej Duda is strongly against the re-distribution of the refugees in all the EU countries and against the introduction of refugee quotas. He added, "I understand that Poland is coming back to Visegrad and will pursue policies which will be in accordance with the policies of the Visegrad group."
Source in Czech HERE