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4 juillet 2012 3 04 /07 /juillet /2012 12:12

The Open Access campaign ask for the openning of the detention centres to the civil society as a guaranty to the right to know what happens inside, and a way to support the rights of the persons locked up inside http://www.openaccessnow.eu/


From the Open Access first report :



Bulgaria – A local Deputy’s visit to the Varna detention centre

Composition of the delegation: Partners of the European Alternatives network in Bulgaria and local journalists


In Bulgaria, the European Alternatives network requested that local partners and local journalists be granted a visit to the Varna detention centre. No written response was ever given subsequent to the numerous letters and faxes sent to Bulgarian authorities. In spite of repeated demands for an official response that might have served as a basis for contestation, the refusal was given verbally, apparently because the police authorities had not been involved in the campaign. The National Deputy Pavel Dimitrov finally carried out a visit, in the absence of either media or civil society organisations. Highly controlled, this visit was too constrained to allow for the collection of the data sought-after by the Open Access campaign. The director of the centre notably refused to hand over a copy of the internal rules and regulations, and not a single detainee could be interviewed.


The deputy noted several violations of the migrants’ rights during his visit. Access to the judiciary system is very limited: detainees have access to lawyers only once a month and the informative document that is distributed to detainees upon arrival is only available in a handful of languages. What’s more, decisions to extend the duration of detention are only subject to juridical review if a complaint is filed. Further, the access to health care is considerably limited: no veritable medical centre exists. One nurse pays a weekly visit to the centre and all consultations with her must be validated prior to the visit by the centre’s administration. The deputy also observed deplorable living conditions in the confines of the centre (obsolete fixtures, dilapidated walls and ceiling, lack of a courtyard or exterior garden, insufficient light, barred windows).


Until the day under discussion, the Varna centre had never been visited by outsiders. Its management is not subject to any sort of control. Despite the fact that since 2011, the Open Society Institute, the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee, and the International Migration Organisation had meant to exercise civic observation of the centre, this was never made effective and the organisations never coordinated actions in pursuit of such goals.


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