A US citizen, living in Slovakia since 2006 and detained on June 3 by Slovak border police, was held unlawfully in the refugee camp in Sečovce, the Sme daily wrote on July 30. Wesley N. Callowey, a 34-year-old US citizen was held at the facility for almost two weeks, according to Sme.
Slovakia’s Foreigners and Border Police, based in Košice, decided on administrative expulsion of the man, including a two-year ban of entry and claimed they held him in the camp for the “period inevitably necessary for arranging an alternative travel document”. Though the US Embassy issued the necessary travel document for him on June 20, the police did not release him. They released the man only on July 1, based on a Supreme Court order.
The court said that the detention was an intervention in the plaintiff’s personal freedom. The police explained the detention as a mistake in a transcription from the law stating that they had incorrectly cited the law on a foreigner’s stay and the statement that detention ends with an arrangement of a travel document was put in the decision by mistake.
Callowey’s lawyer, Matej Kukura, said that his client will demand reimbursement.
The US citizen is currently preparing for his return to the US in cooperation with the International Organisation for Migration (IOM). The head of the IOM office, Zuzana Vatrálová, confirmed that if the police determine that a foreign citizen is staying in Slovakia illegally they can place him or her in a detention camp. The reasons for detention are stipulated in the law.
After the police released Callowey, they told him he has 30 days to leave the country. The deadline expires this Monday. Based on the request for assisted voluntary return he is entitled to a 90-day tolerated stay based on the law.
Following the Supreme Court’s verdict, the Košice Regional Court cancelled the ruling on detention and returned the case to the police for further proceedings. The American has contested the decision on expulsion and is currently waiting for a decision by the Foreigners and Border Police Directorate in Prešov.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
1. Aug 2011 at 14:00