Interior Minister Hanno Pevkur said security measures at the Harku department of imprisonment are tough but police reacted adequately to the protests on Tuesday evening.
“It is a closed establishment. When we speak of Vao center, then that is a place where people are free, where they are waiting for a decision, while in Harku we are talking about people who are waiting for a court decision or deportation,” Pevkur explained the difference between the two establishments at the weekly government press conference today.
A protest broke out at the center in Harku after an asylum seeker refused to hear a court verdict prolonging his stay at the detention center. He became aggressive and was removed to an isolated room, after which others at the center, around 40 asylum seekers or people waiting for deportation demanded his release. After a 1.5-hour stand-off, police used force, including rubber bullets, to break up the protest. No one was hurt.
Pevkur said it is important to understand the difference between the two institutions. “This institution is there to detain people. The people there are illegal immigrants, who have a court ruling already completed or are waiting for one,” he added.
He said police acted correctly as the situation needed to be defused quickly.
The 25-year-old man from Congo (it has not been specified from which of the two Congo states) and two others are currently under solitary confinement.
Editor: J.M. Laats