Austria Builds 'Camp' in Mountains

Tuesday, October 07, 2008
VIENNA, Austria - Far-right Gov. Joerg Haider has set up a facility in the remote mountains of southern Austria to handle asylum seekers suspected as criminals, saying they need to be isolated to protect the people in the area.


"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."

Haider's spokesman Stefan Petzner said no one's rights were being violated.

"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."

He said that the asylum seekers were allowed to move about freely on the premises but were being monitored.

The holding center in a former children's home is only for asylum seekers suspected as criminals. But Petzner said conviction was not a "mandatory prerequisite" for being sent there.


Have I mentioned my visceral distrust of Austrians? Potential fascists, the lot of them.