The case in question involves a citizen of Iran applying for international protection who was detained. In our application filed with the Regional Court in Olsztyn we claimed that the detention of the foreigner in question at a guarded centre for foreigners was illegal.
The man fled from Iran to Poland for fear of capital punishment. He attempted to submit an application for international protection at the Poland-Belarus border over a dozen times, clearly stating his intentions to the Border Guard, but was pushed back to Belarus every time. During his escape to Poland, the foreigner had an accident – he broke an arm while moving over a fence at the border. In spite of this, he was placed in a guarded centre for foreigners.
According to Polish law, detention should be applied only as a last resort. A person is to be placed at a guarded centre only if this is justified. For example, when certain steps involving the foreigner need to be carried out (like determining their identity). If this is not the case, detention may be deemed unreasonable and unjustified – this was confirmed by the Supreme Court in a decision which we mentioned on our website.
Such a situation occurred in the case of our client. He spent a total of 113 days at a guarded centre. During this time, no proceedings to take evidence involving him took place as his application for international protection was being processed. In particular, there was no hearing aimed at determining why he applied for international protection. At the same time, he himself did not take any steps hindering the proceedings.
His stay at the guarded centre was harmful to him in psychological terms (due to the mental trauma associated with his escape from Iran) but also physically. His arm being broken, the man’s mobility was limited, he struggled with some mundane and everyday tasks. He did not receive sufficient support related to this at the centre.
In our application for compensation we point out that his detention at the centre was unreasonable and baseless because it did not serve the purpose of collecting the necessary evidence or determining other circumstances essential for his case while at the same time having a considerable adverse effect on his physical and mental condition.
We hope that the Regional Court in Olsztyn considers our points valid and awards reasonable compensation to the foreigner.
The man is represented by Małgorzata Jaźwińska, attorney-at-law, and Zuzanna Kaciupska, legal counsel, who collaborate with our association. The foreigner received legal support and advice during his detention at the center from Aleksandra Pulchny.