Random Checks at Czech-Slovak Border Extended Until 2 November

The Czech Republic, Poland and Austria introduced checks at their borders with Slovakia last Wednesday. Credit: Freepik.

Prague, Oct 12 (CTK) – Random checks at the border with Slovakia, introduced in response to irregular refugee flows, have been extended for 20 days by the Czech cabinet, and will now continue until 2 November, Interior Minister Vit Rakusan told journalists yesterday. The checks were originally scheduled to last until 13 October.

The Czech Republic, Poland and Austria introduced checks at their borders with Slovakia last Wednesday. The stated aim was to reduce the number of undocumented refugees entering their territory, from where most of them plan to continue to Western Europe. The outgoing Slovak government subsequently introduced checks at the border with Hungary, which were yesterday extended until 3 November.

The checks at the Czech-Slovak border were reimposed after a year. Last year, the Czech Republic introduced them at the end of September due to an uptick in the number of undocumented refugees crossing the border, and they remained in place until the beginning of February.

According to Rakusan (STAN), the Czech Republic’s decision follows the steps of neighbouring countries. “In order not to create an incentive for migration flows, the Czech Republic has decided to extend the border protection for another 20 days until 2 November,” he said.

The costs of the border checks from last week until 2 November will total CZK 53.4 million, Rakusan said.

From last Wednesday to Monday, the police checked 43,749 people and detected 283 undocumented migrants. 234 people were denied entry into the Czech Republic, and in 27 cases the Czech Republic used readmission measures towards Slovakia. Police also detained 12 people smugglers, who have been charged with criminal offences, Rakusan said.

The police announced last week that they would initially deploy about 130 officers, mainly from the border regions, to carry out checks, assisted by officers from the immigration police and from other regions. They will focus on vehicles selected on the basis of officers’ experience in detecting people smugglers. However, anyone can be the subject of spot checks, so the Interior Ministry recommends that people near the border carry an ID card or passport.

Rakusan reiterated yesterday that the Czech Republic would not have taken the measure on its own because the situation around migration was under control. “However, the decision of the neighbouring countries led us to the precautionary decision to introduce random checks,” he said, adding that they were intended to cause as little inconvenience to citizens as possible.


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