There continues to be a “humanitarian disaster” on Poland’s border with Belarus – the place tens of hundreds of individuals, primarily from the Center East, Asia and Africa, have been searching for to cross since final summer time – stories the workplace of Poland’s commissioner for human rights (RPO).
It notes that Polish authorities proceed to make use of the controversial follow of pushbacks – sending those that have crossed the border again into Belarus – one thing that the RPO’s workplace deems “incompatible with Polish legislation and worldwide requirements”.
In the meantime, a gaggle of Kurdish asylum seekers who crossed the border have been holding a starvation strike for over three weeks in protest towards the situations they’re being held in at a Polish detention centre and on the lack of progress in processing their circumstances.
The earlier wave: how Polish civil society helped migrants and refugees amid the Belarus border disaster
“Foreigners, together with households with youngsters, below the strain of the Belarusian [security] companies, are nonetheless trying to cross the border in locations not meant for that functions,” wrote deputy human rights commissionn Hanna Machińska within the report. “The humanitarian disaster on the border continues, although on a smaller scale.”
Poland’s border guard stories that by 23 Could it had recorded 5,143 makes an attempt to illegally cross the border this yr and 724 in Could alone – a median of over 30 per day. That figures are, nevertheless, effectively under the height final autumn, when 17,500 tried crossings have been recorded in October alone.
Earlier this week, footage emerged displaying the brutal behaviour of Belarusian officers forcing migrants by means of barbed wire fencing on the border into Poland, regardless of screams of protests from the group.
Wstrząsające nagrania z granicy. Wiele zła widziałem, ale tu jest kumulacja.
Właśnie w ręce takich ludzi z BY @Straz_Graniczna wpycha cudzoziemców.
Na filmie widać, jak zbiry Łukaszenki traktują uchodźców, migrantów.
Do wideo dotarł Człowiek Lasu. Mówi, że to sprzed kilku dni. pic.twitter.com/bCxT6m7AoR
— Piotr Czaban (@CzabanPiotr) May 25, 2022
A spokeswoman for the Polish border guard, Anna Michalska, later confirmed to Gazeta Wyborcza that the footage was recorded by its officers, who later supplied the seven migrants – almost certainly from Cuba – with medical assist.
“The foreigners have been knowledgeable in regards to the risk to use for worldwide safety in Poland,” stated Michalska, however added that they’d declined to take action and have been due to this fact knowledgeable that below the legislation they’re obliged to go away Polish territory. Their additional destiny has not been reported.
Final yr, Human Rights Watch accused Poland and Belarus of “shared duty for abuse” of migrants at their border. The NGO documented violence and different abuses by Belarusian officers, but additionally criticised Polish authorities for its coverage of pushing again migrants into Belarus.
Human Rights Watch blames Belarus and Poland for “abuse” and “instrumentalisation” of migrants
In her new report, Machińska notes that the coverage of pushbacks remains to be in use, with dozens of circumstances this yr, together with some going down at night time. She reminds that the RPO’s workplace deems such procedures “incompatible with Polish legislation and worldwide requirements”.
In her earlier stories, Machińska has additionally documented “unacceptable” situations in detention centres for asylum seekers, which “don’t fulfil the fundamental ensures stopping inhuman and degrading remedy”. These situations have led to starvation protests and riots at some centres.
This month, the most recent such protest has been going down amongst Kurdish asylum seekers being held at a centre in Lesznowola. Their starvation strike has been ongoing for twenty-four days and now consists of refuging to just accept liquids, knowledgeable NGO Grupa Granica on Friday.
📣 Solidarnie ze strajkującymi. Dziś 24. dzień strajku głodowego w Lesznowoli. Od wczoraj wszyscy strajkujący przestali przyjmować płyny. W sprawie strajkujących interweniowali posłowie @HannaGillPiatek, @f_sterczewski, @AniskoTomasz i @ZalewskiPawel
Zdj. Wojciech Radwański/APP pic.twitter.com/iCrlMYmeJF
— Grupa Granica (@GrupaGranica) May 27, 2022
A border guard spokeswoman, Dagmara Bielec, confirmed to Gazeta Wyborcza that 10 foreigners are taking part in a protest towards “prolonged administrative procedures” and “an excessive amount of time in detention”.
“We aren’t criminals that have to be saved locked and in isolation,” they wrote in an open letter to the heads of the federal government’s Workplace for Foreigners and of the border guard. They declare that their human rights are being violated by means of the shortage of progress in proceessing their circumstances and lack of entry to translators.
“Workers of the centre are speaking to the protesters about their administrative scenario,” stated Bielec, who assured that the conversations are performed in English and with the assist of Arabic and Kurdish interpreters.
Based on a politician from the Greens (Zieloni), Laura Kwoczała, an analogous starvation strike started this week at a holding centre in Przemyśl, with individuals additionally complaining a couple of lack of progress in processing their circumstances.
❗️ Kolejny strajk głodowy – tym razem w Strzeżonym Ośrodku dla Cudzoziemców w Przemyślu!
Od dwóch dni protestują tam dwie osoby. Poinformowały o swojej woli tamtejszą Straż Graniczną. Protest wynika z opóźnionieniach w procedurach dot. ich wniosków oraz wielu miesięcy w detencji. pic.twitter.com/mg4gA7vECs
— Laura Kwoczała 🌻 🇵🇱 🇺🇦 (@LauraKwoczala) May 27, 2022
The Polish authorities have defended their actions on the border, arguing that they adjust to nationwide and worldwide authorized necessities and are needed to guard nationwide safety.
They level out that migrants and asylum seekers have been helped to succeed in Belarus and cross the border by the Belarusian authorities, and say that there’s proof that some pose a safety menace.
Polling has proven that almost all of the Polish public assist the federal government’s robust response to the disaster, which has included banning all non-residents – together with journalists and NGOs – from the border space and constructing a wall on the border. Poland has additionally acquired backing from the EU and Germany.
Most Poles assist authorities insurance policies on Belarus border and reject asylum for crossers, finds ballot
Important picture credit score: Irek Dorozanski / DWOT (below CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
Agnieszka Wądołowska is deputy editor of Notes from Poland. She has beforehand labored for Gazeta.pl and Tokfm.pl and contributed to Gazeta Wyborcza, Wysokie Obcasy, Duży Format, Midrasz and Kultura Liberalna