Wednesday, December 1

Hunger, cold and death on Poland’s border with Belarus


“Was 10 days walking across the border It was very cold; we crossed and the Poles rejected us, we returned to Belarus and the police there rejected us; We did not have no water no food; we got to eat until ground herbs already drink the rain water“says Goran Ali, a thirty-year-old originally from Kirkuk, in northern Iraq, and of Kurdish ethnicity. This young man with a degree in graphic design, who in his country of origin even worked as a journalist for a radio transmitter and one television station, he has lost absolutely everything. Even the clothes that he brought from his country, damp and covered with mud, had to be discarded, and now you saw with a tracksuit they have loaned you.

Nor does he have a penny left. During the days when he wandered in the forests, he was beaten and looted by members of the Belarusian border patrols, whom he points out without hesitation as “the worst, by far. “” The Belarusians beat us, broke our phones and stole our money; stole $ 1,500“He continues. Some border guards who put all kinds of facilities for the outward journey, allowing them to pass to the neighboring country.in no lock, but that later they showed their worst face when they tried to return when they found that they had been explained a lie and in reality they were not welcome in Poland: “they told us: ‘go to Poland, but then, to prevent us from returning, they loaded their weapons and they even did gesture to shoot“He continues.” entire families, with children from one to ten years old, had 500 people, I would say that even a thousand, “he recalls with horror.

In a charity shelter

Within his misfortune, Goran has been lucky. its brittle health has allowed you to enter this charitable shelter and avoid the fate of his fellow travelers, with whom he traveled by taxi from Minsk to the border. The latter have been admitted to a refugee camp whose access to the press is prohibited by the Polish authorities. “They are in him refugee camp; that is like a jail; the food is not good, “he stresses, before leading a small visit to the charity center and proudly showing the kitchen room and the inside the fridge, packed with food donated by the local population.

Leaning on crutches, trudging down the hallway of the shelter, Amina, a 50-year-old Syrian woman from Deraa, in the south of the country, has just been released from the hospital, showing the scratches and blisters she suffered during the days when he wandered through no man’s land. Avoid show face to the camera and prefers not to reveal his True identity. “Look, look,” he says, pointing to a bulky bandage on the toe of his right foot and a painful sore at the base of his big toe.

Amina wants to go to Germany, where her son has been living for now three years, because in your country it is no longer possible to even lead a normal existence. After more than a decade of war in his country, he insists that he does not want to talk about politics: “I just want to live in peace,” he insists.

Ahmed, in his fifties, and his son Abdul, 14, also hide their verdaderas identities, and they remember with horror the days when they were wandering aimlessly, without power move along O back.

“People died of cold or hunger, I cannot tell you how many people have died, but here is my son, who assures that he has seen at least three people dead, “he explains.” There was nothing to eat or drink, just cold, cold“.

Travel to austria

Father of an extensive family consisting of his wife and nine children, Ahmed’s aspiration is to travel to Austria, where he already has a working son. Member of the civil resistance to the regime of Bashar el Assad In his native population – whose name he does not want to reveal either – he rules out being able to return to his country while the Syrian dictator continues to hold power. “Assad is a dictator, like Hitler; a person who is capable of kill his own people; If I go back to Syria, can I torture, stop O to kill“He insists. His wife has stayed in Jordan, and if he finally achieves his purpose, he will bring her to Europe, not his children, who have started another life in Jordan.” They already have their lives there, “he explains.

Ahmed rebels when he is reminded that there are numerous voices in Europe, belonging to the far-right parties, that reject the Syrian refugees for being from islamic religion. “I am a human being, and ours is a peace religion“, he replies. He does not want to be a burden on his host country, and insists that his university education as a jurist will allow him in due course to be of use wherever he goes:” I can work in human rights cases“, he concludes.

It is not clear what will happen to those migrants who have achieved their purpose of crossing the border. Alicia Pietruczuk, a journalist for a Bialystok radio station, believes that those who come from Syria have “more possibilities“to be recognized as political refugees than those from Iraq. The reporter highlights that the humanitarian crisis has been brewing for months and that no one can figure out for sure how many immigrants they get through. Attempts by this newspaper to speak to the Polish border service to obtain an assessment of the situation have remained unanswered.


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