Austrian Times RSS FeedsLike the Austrian Times Facebook page!Follow us on Twitter!


Events for September
M T W T F S S
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 1 2 3 4 5
Add your event FREE

Today

Videos


BurgKino

Pub Quiz everyTuesday at Johnny's Pub

Popular in Austria


Cosmo&Nanu

Haider defends isolated criminal asylum camp

Carinthian BZÖ Governor Jörg Haider has confirmed that five adult refugees are currently being kept in a "special camp" for presumably-violent asylum seekers in Carinthia.

Human rights experts on Tuesday expressed concern about the special facility in Saualm alp, Völkermarkt District.

The building houses five men - three Georgians, one Kazakh and one Gambian - but has a capacity of 50 and has been in use for about a week, his office said. were

Haider said on Monday that the facility in a former childrens' home was a security measure to protect the people of Carinthia. "With this security precaution, we are protecting the Carinthian population," he said at a news conference on Monday. He added that the number of criminal asylum seekers was on the rise. Carinthia currently has about 900 asylum seekers.

The men are accused of various offences including property damage, grievous bodily harm and drug-smuggling. Some of them allegedly have hepatitis.

Haider’s spokesman Stefan Petzner said that the camp, at an altitude of 1,200 metres,  was "meant only for criminals" and not for sick people.

The "Asylkoordination Österreich" association has criticised Haider for "using defamatory speech" and "playing with links to the Nazis' policy of extermination."

Conviction was not a "mandatory prerequisite" for being sent to the facility, Haider's spokesman Stefan Petzner said. The inmates would be "under constant observation so that no criminal acts can be committed," he added.

But he said no one's rights were being violated.

He would not provide specific details on the five in the facility, but confirmed a media report that the men are asylum seekers from Georgia, Kazakhstan and Gambia. He did say some in the group had been convicted, but did not say of what.

The building is in a secluded pasture at an altitude of about 1,200 meters.

"It's a perfectly normal establishment far away from civilization in a secluded area so they can't get up to anything," said Petzner. "You shouldn't think of this as a prison surrounded by barbed wire."

Human rights experts are not convinced.

"The whole thing sounds strongly like banishment," said Heinz Patzelt, head of Austria's chapter of Amnesty International. "There's no place for that in a modern system with a rule of law."

Roland Schönbauer, officer-in-charge of the Vienna branch of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, said his office had asked Carinthian authorities to provide details about the conditions in the facility and those working there.

Schönbauer said he was not familiar with the cases of the five people already there. However, since they were not in jail, one had to assume they have not been convicted, he said.

"The presumption of innocence applies to everyone who has not been convicted and a certain governor has to respect that," Schönbauer said.

Schönbauer also criticised the practice — by Haider and others — of associating asylum seekers with crime.

"The repeated and constant linkage of asylum seekers with crime by leading politicians is extremely worrying as it leads to a general criminalization of asylum seekers in public and undermines the integration of those who get refugee status," he said.

Haider, who is also leader of the far-right Alliance for the Future of Austria, has in the past caused international consternation by making statements seen as anti-Semitic or sympathetic to Adolf Hitler's labor policies. In 1999, when he was leader of the Freedom Party, it won 27 per cent of the vote.

He has since portrayed himself as more moderate but continues to have a steady following, especially in Carinthia. Two weeks ago, the Alliance got 10.7 percent of the vote in nationwide parliamentary elections.

Austrian Times


Are you on Facebook? Like the Austrian Times on Facebook and win great prizes!


Cosmo and Nanu
ORF Watch

Tag cloud:
Carinthian  criticised  constant  Petzner  Alliance  ouml  refugees  secluded  spokesman  Haider  nbauer  International  Stefan  criminal  convicted  facility  mdash  asylum  crime  seekers

Latest News

 

Pat On The Back From Manure Explosive
A traffic cop in Austria got more than he bargained for after a booby trap covered him head-to-toe in manure as he was trying to catch people speeding.

Viennese Jihad Girl May Have Been Killed
Austrian police say that one of the two attractive young teenage girls who fled the country to go to Syria to fight on the side of Islamic rebels may have been killed.

Perversion of a Medical Dream
The Decline and Fall of the Otto Wagner Hospital, Vienna.

Fat Can Be Used To Burn Off Weight After New Patent Unveiled
It is being hailed as a sensation after scientists at an Austrian university patented a method that transforms fat storing cells into mini factories capable of actually destroying fat by burning it off.

Three Family Members Dead In Well Tragedy
A mother has lost her husband, her pregnant daughter and her son-in-law after a tragic accident where one of them fell into a well and the other two died while trying to carry out a failed rescue.

Brit Soldier Rescued After Climbing Mountain In T Shirt
A British soldier who tackled the frozen Austrian Alps wearing just shorts and a T-shirt has been rapped by officials after he had to be rescued from the snowy peak.

Mum And Daughter Struck By Lightning In Pool
A mother and her daughter were hospitalised after they were struck by lightning in a swimming pool.

Police Nab Porn Star Who Filmed In Local Church
A woman accused of making a porn movie in a local church has been caught after an informant tipped off police that he recognised her by her breasts after an appeal for information.

Young Hip Hop Dancer Gets 18 Years For Drug Smuggling
A blonde hip hop dancer and charity worker promised an international career after she was spotted by a talent scout has been jailed for 18 years in Indonesia after her work offer turned out to have been part of an elaborate drugs con.

Teen Dying Of Cancer Killed At Charity Event After Ride In Porsche Goes Wrong
The family of a sick boy who was offered a trip in a high-performance Porsche because he was dying of cancer is suing the charity after the Porsche he was travelling in crashed head-on into oncoming traffic.

 


Mala Vrata

The most popular stories –
last 7 days



Don't moan alone, the Ombudsman Investigates.

Why suffer in silence. Let off steam by letting our readers share your troubles. File your complaints about anything and everything here.

Our ombudsman David Rogers will try and help solve some of the problems from lazy civil servants through to incompetent companies – and at the very least the worst transgressors will end up in our weekly special report.


Austrian Zimmers