Photographer's Epic Journey Into a Netherlands Prison Reveals an Unexpected Scene
Pulitzer prize-winning Associated Press photojournalist Muhammed Muheisen has documented Europe's refugee crisis for years.
But when he heard that in the Netherlands, refugees and migrants were living in prisons, he had to see it for himself.
"I didn't want to believe it myself that prisons became shelters," Muheisen told Time.
Muheisen spent months convincing the government to grant him access to De Koepel facility in Haarlem, Netherlands, one of the prisons holding asylum seekers and migrants.
How did these refugees wind up living in prison?
The number of asylum seekers who need shelter in the Netherlands has recently skyrocketed. Meanwhile, the crime rate in the Netherlands has been declining steadily for years, leading to prisons shut downs.
So the Dutch government hatched a plan:
House refugees seeking asylum in vacant prisons.
Muheisen, who has documented the lives of migrants in Europe and Asia for years. Once he was granted unlimited access, Muheisen spent several weeks visiting visiting refugees of all ages from dozens of countries, all waiting in a prison that's their temporary home to find out where they'll be sent next.
He captured their experience from a stunning perspective: