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 :
Romania – Visit to the Arad migrant detention centre, on the 4th of May 2012
Composition of the delegation: Collective of journalists from Indymedia Romania, News Radio Romania and the French revue “Regards”
In parallel to the ‘Open Access’ visitation campaign, Migreurop received several distress calls from the detention centre in Arad, Romania. Some fifty detainees (including a young pregnant woman), all dismissed from their right to asylum, are detained in the centre for a period that could be extended to a maximum of 18 months. Outraged by the conditions of their detention, these migrants bore witness to the grave violations of their rights: frequent acts of police violence, arbitrary
placement in isolation, enclosure in cells for around 22 hours a day, no access to doctors or appropriate healthcare and deplorable sanitary conditions (broken shower, absence of heating).
Migreurop collected and distributed the eye-witness accounts of the Arad detainees on two occasions.
Following the distribution of the first eye-witness accounts, a protest was organised by an informal collective claiming solidarity with the migrants, on the 21st of March 2012. The next day,
several media outlets came to the Arad detention centre in order to enter it and see the situation for themselves. The director of the centre, Petre Padurean, refused this access, arguing that
the detainees were “too violent”.
Following a written request by Active Watch (member of Reporters Without Borders Romania), the Romanian Immigration Office (RIO) assured that the detainees were well looked-after, and that the
journalists were welcome in the centres, provided that they filed an accreditation request prior to arrival with the RIO. Although the accreditation request made in the name of the Open Access
campaign by journalists was eventually accepted, it was never followed by an official
written response. It is only by means of a telephone conversation that the RIO spokesperson confirmed the authorisation of the journalists’ collective for access to the Arad centre.
The visit, which finally took place on the 4th of May, was meticulously prepared by the governmental authorities and by the administration of the centre. In effect, journalists were able to speak for some three hours with the personnel of the centre and an RIO commissioner who had come especially from Bucharest in order to oversee the visit. In a notable exception, journalists were able to undertake confidential interviews with the migrants for around five hours. The detainees complained about their conditions, particularly the poor quality of the food, the lack of specialised medical service and the lack of medications. They again painted a picture of the violent acts visited upon them by the police, but those with visible wounds did not want to be photographed for fear of reprisal. One week later, journalists and activists learnt of the escape of four detainees from the camp in the night of the 8th and 9th of May...
During the preparation of their media report, a second visit to the Otopeni retention centre has been planned for the month of June.