The Regional Court in Olsztyn (decision of April 3, 2023, ref. no. VII Kz 150/23), decided to release a Sri Lankan refugee from a guarded centre for migrants. We filed a Friend-of-the-Court (amicus curiae) opinion in this case.

The Court, while releasing the migrant, indicated that when considering an application for prolongation of the stay in a guarded centre, liberty measures should be considered first and detention should always be the solution of last resort.

According to the Court: “It should be emphasised that the migrant was detained (…) and has been in a guarded centre for more than 5 months. When issuing a decision regarding the migrant, it is reasonable to consider the fact that placing her in a guarded centre undoubtedly worsens her psychophysical condition. (…) It should also be underlined that the ineffectiveness of alternative measures to detention cannot be determined a priori by the fact that the migrant has illegally crossed the state border of the Republic of Poland.”

Furthermore, the ruling mentions that:  “it is also not insignificant in the circumstances of this case that the protection proceedings are prolonged. The necessary steps to establish the applicant’s status and the prerequisites for her departure from her home country have still not been taken with regard to the applicant.”

In the opinion of the Friend of the Court, we argued that the migrant’s detention was unjustified, inter alia because she had suffered violence in her country of origin and because she had failed, through no fault of her own, to be interviewed in the procedure for granting international protection, despite the fact that the basis for extending her stay in a guarded centre was the necessity to gather with her the information on which the application for international protection is based, and which would have been impossible to obtain without detention.

The Friend-of-the-Court opinion was filed on behalf of SIP by lawyer Aleksandra Pulchny.