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The Latest: Czech watchdog condemns asylum conditions

October 13, 2015

GENEVA (AP) — The latest news from the wave of refugees and other migrants fleeing Africa, Asia and the Middle East and heading for western Europe. All times local.

4:50 p.m.

The Czech Republic’s ombudsman is condemning conditions in a detention facility for asylum-seekers, saying they violate the U.N.’s Convention on the Rights of the Child and the European Convention on Human Rights.

Anna Sabatova says the children detained with their parents in the Bela-Jezova center north of Prague have to stay in worse conditions than prisoners.

She says that their detention in such a facility “defies our view of the Czech Republic as a civilized country.”

Sabatova complained Tuesday that children are traumatized by the conditions without any reason.

“The people didn’t commit any crime. They were not convicted of anything. Still, they have to suffer,” she said.

The Czechs routinely detain all migrants without proper documents for several weeks, a practice repeatedly criticized by rights organizations.


3:05 p.m.

The European Union’s border control agency says there were 170,000 cases of people trying to enter the bloc in September, down from a record high of 190,000 in August.

It was not exactly clear how many total migrants entered the EU from January to September, because the Warsaw-based agency only counts entrances into the 28-nation bloc, and many migrants cross EU borders more than once.

The organization also noted the number of migrants arriving in Italy by boat from Libya has fallen due to a shortage of boats in Libya and worsening weather. Frontex said the numbers arriving in Italy fell by half in September to 12,000.


12:20 p.m.

The prime minister of Norway says the oil-rich Scandinavian country would be willing to take its share in the European Union’s relocation of refugees from countries hardest hit by the migration crisis.

Erna Solberg says non-EU member Norway has not yet decided how many people it will take.

Solberg says the number of asylum-seekers in Norway could reach 23,000 this year, up from previous estimates of 16,000. In 2016, it could reach 33,000.

Speaking before the Storting, or Parliament, she said Tuesday that should 40,000 to 50,000 people be granted asylum in Norway, costs over the next five years could be up to 50 billion kroner ($6.2 billion).


11:55 a.m.

The international Organization for Migration estimates that more than 3,000 people have now died while trying to cross the Mediterranean to Europe this year.

Spokesman Joel Millman of the Geneva-based inter-governmental agency says 3,103 people have died in 2015 during the crossing — more than 100 of which have only been recorded now because of internal “housekeeping” of the statistics in recent days.

IOM says more than 593,000 people have crossed this year — of which 453,000 traveled from Turkey to Greece, which has faced a massive influx of people from Syria.

Ninety percent of the deaths this year were on the high Mediterranean, mainly between Libya and Italy. The IOM says that those arriving in Italy are much more diverse, with large contingents from at least 16 countries.