Sofia Busmantsi Detention Centre Overcrowded
About 20,000 migrants have passed through the Sofia Busmantsi Detention Centre. The situation is beyond extreme. Given a capacity of 940 migrants, there are now 1,631 persons or an occupancy rate of 174% . There are 395 persons registered outside the Detention Centre living at their own expense.
Since the opening of the Detention Centre, there have never been that many foreigners residing in Bulgaria illegally. At the same time, there is a severe shortage of personnel – medical, police and service staff. In the last month, there have been cases of over 100 migrants arriving in one night. Most are from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq. Sometimes, entire Syrian families arrive but they do not stay long.
The Busmantsi Detention centre is near Sofia and is officially referred to as a Special Home for Temporary Placement of Foreigners with the Migration Directorate of the Ministry of the Interior.
By law, only foreigners who have resided illegally in Bulgaria and have been issued a deportation or expulsion order are placed there.
According to the weekly statistics of the Interior Ministry, until September 9, 13,005 migrants have entered the territory of Bulgaria since the beginning of 2016. In the period September 2-8 alone, another 664 migrants have crossed over into Bulgaria.36 foreigners have been taken out of the country in the last week.
At present, the occupancy rate of the detention centres is 85% which means that, by September 20, the authorities will have to look for options to construct tent camps or open new or temporary detention centres.
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