November 30, 2021

Polish-Belarus asylum-seeker border standoff continues

The standoff on the border between Poland and Belarus continues for a gaggle of round 30 asylum seekers who’ve been caught between the 2 nations for nearly three weeks with no shelter or entry to common meals provides.

The group – which rights teams say contains Afghans and Iraqis – are prevented from coming into Poland, whereas they aren’t being allowed again to Belarus. They’ve been caught in no man’s land alongside the border close to the Polish village of Usnarz G√≥rny.

Poland’s authorities argues that the migrants are on Belarus soil, which is accountable for them, and won’t enable them stroll the quick distance into Poland to use for asylum. However they’re additionally not allowed again to Belarus.

Lithuania and Latvia have additionally seen dozens of asylum seekers arriving at their borders with Belarus, because the EU says it’s being engineered by the Belarusian regime in retaliation towards EU sanctions on Minsk.

In response, Poland has begun constructing a barbed wire fence alongside its border.

On Sunday, Poland arrested 13 activists who had been making an attempt to destroy a part of a barbed-wire barrier, AP reported.

The activists stated it was an act of protest towards Warsaw authorities for what they imagine is the “inhuman treatment” of migrants looking for to enter the EU and towards what they described as an unlawful pushback of asylum seekers.

Polish inside minister Mariusz Kaminski described the protestors’ actions as “absolutely unacceptable” and stated that these detained “will bear all the legal consequences of their actions.”

The activists stated that Poland ought to “defend the border against Lukashenko and Putin, not their victims”.

Final week, the Strasbourg-based European Courtroom of Human Rights ordered Poland and Latvia to assist the asylum seekers with “food, water, clothing, adequate medical care and, if possible, temporary shelter”, including that the court docket was not requiring them to “let the applicants enter their territories”.

When requested in regards to the EU Fee’s place on the court docket order, fee spokesman Adalbert Jahnz stated the EU govt doesn’t touch upon ECHR judgements on orders.

“Poland has committed to implementing the judgements and orders of ECHR. We are in close contact with Polish authorities to make sure this very difficult situation is managed in full compliance with all relevant obligation, and the appropriate way, taking into account also the way which it was cleated,” he stated.

The spokesperson stated that “a very significant part of the difficulty of that situation [is] how it was created”, which is “an attempt by a third county to instrumentalise people for political purposes, which we very firmly reject and described as a form of aggression”.

On the identical time, Warsaw has, in latest days, additionally evacuated virtually 1,000 Afghans who labored for Poland’s army contingent within the nation.

However the border standoff can be about resisting stress from Belarus, and a few analyst argue it’s utilized by the nationalist Warsaw authorities to galvanise its supporters.

Adam Szostkiewicz, a political commentator for the weekly Polityka, was quoted by AFP saying the federal government was “building its election campaign around this [issue]”.

A latest ballot by Kantar discovered that the governing Regulation and Justice occasion (PiS) had fallen by three factors within the polls and is presently neck-and-neck with the primary opposition grouping, Civic Platform, on 26 p.c.

However constructing a marketing campaign across the group of refugees would possibly backfire.

Poland’s influential Catholic Church, which is historically near the present authorities, additionally appealed to the political leaders to “be guided” by “respect for new arrivals and goodwill”.

Belarus has denied it’s sending refugees to the border.

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