Theater of Cruelty

Considering new rules

The detention of children at Trandum Immigration International can be stopped.


- The most critical in relation to Trandum is the detention of children and the use of security cells, says Minister of Justice Knut Storberget (Labor).

The Minister of Justice suggests that his trial at Trandum International Immigration may have consequences.

- I have not concluded yet, but I will take a position on this already now before we present a new regulation for Trandum before the summer, Storberget says.

The inspection of the detention camp – described by several as Norway's response to Guantánamo – took place on Friday 5 May. The meeting with a family with a child of two and a half years was what made the most impression on the Minister of Justice during the inspection in the controversial detention camp at Gardermoen.

- Is it not contrary to Norwegian law to lock in children under 15?

- That's why I want to get into this right away. It is just an absolute last resort to lock children in, Storberget answers.

- For Trandum Utlendingsinternat is a prison?

- Yes, it is for those who are placed there against their will, Storberget states.

When it comes to the use of security cells, there are several issues the Justice Minister wants to address.

- For example, it is problematic that there are no windows in the cells. I do not rule out changes regarding the use of safety cells and the detention of children. But in these cases we have to make difficult trade-offs, he says.

As an example, he refers to the criticism against foreigners' inspections at night. The Police Immigration Unit, which operates the Trandum camp, documents this relationship himself in his reply letter to the Civil Ombudsman last week. Attached to the letter is a log from the inspection of one of the inmates. It appears here that the police guards at Trandum checked the person 60 times during the night between May 24 and May 25 last year.

- But I would like to see what the media wrote if any of the detainees had committed suicide because no inspections were made, says Storberget, who emphasizes that there are also several aspects of Trandum that he thinks are good.

- Worse than prison

- I am from Morocco and have been imprisoned here for two months. They wake us up every 15 minutes at night, says the man to Ny Tid through two high mesh fences with barbed wire on top.

Minister of Justice Knut Storberget (Labor Party) has just finished his inspection and left Trandum Immigration Boarding School at the airport at Gardermoen. While the rest of the press leaves the scene in the heels of the Minister of Justice, Ny Tid has taken the trip to the back of the camp.

What we see from the outside is little reminiscent of a boarding school. Surveillance by video camera, we find two foreigners in one of three fenced air yards attached to the old military building. Here, foreigners – both adults and children – are imprisoned. Some of them have had the "boarding school" as their forced home for over a year.

- This is in many ways worse than a prison. I do not know why they keep me here, says the other man in the air yard.

More, the two unwanted foreigners are told through the barbed wire before the police interrupt the call and order them back into the building. An interview with inmates at Trandum must be arranged in advance, we know.

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