Czech Justice Ministry offers unused building with 580 beds for refugees
The Czech Justice Ministry can provide a building in Vyšní Lhoty (Frýdek-Místek district) for the reception of refugees. The ministry had originally considered turning the facility into a prison but would like it to be used as a refugee center instead.
Czech Justice Minister Robert Pelikán and Deputy Justice Minister Vladimír Zimmel announced the offer to journalists at the end of June. The minister said the Justice Ministry is making the preserved building available through a collaboration with the Interior Ministry.
The numbers of people in Czech prisons are reaching maximum capacity yet again, which is why it was originally scheduled to use as a prison. "Ultimately we came to the opinion that since there is a need to increase the housing capacity for refugees here, it is logical to provide this to the Interior Ministry," Pelikán told the press.
The Justice Minister said prison capacity would have to addressed in another way. The Czech News Agency said it would ask the Interior Ministry for its statement on the issue.
The grounds of the building are 75 000 square meters and were used as a refugee facility previously. It opened in the mid-1990s with a capacity of 580 beds.
The facility includes accommodations, administrative buildings, and warehouse space. It has not been used to accommodate refugees since December 2009.
In July 2011 the Refugee Facility Administration declared that it did not need the building and offered it to other state organizations and units. Last January the prison services expressed interest in the campus.
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