Monday, January 24

Poland and Belarus prevent the UN from accessing the border


Correspondent in Berlin

Updated:

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On the border between Poland Y Belarus there are about a thousand immigrants illegal and HIM-HER-IT They have been interested in the conditions in which they expect a solution to their situation, but those envoys by the United Nations have not been able to reach them because both Warsaw and Minsk deny their envoys access to the area. This has been denounced by the spokesperson for the United Nations High Commissioner, Liz Throssell. One of his teams displaced to Poland “has not obtained authorization to access the border area,” he said, “and it is also not possible to access from Belarus, where the Government has prevented the entry of another of our teams to its entire territory. ».

Poland declared a state of emergency in September in the border area, which includes the provinces of Podlakia and Lublin, with a total of 183 municipalities, citing “a threat to the safety of citizens and public order.”

This legal situation allows the State to prohibit protests and demonstrations, in addition to imposing curfews Y prohibit access to non-residents, including journalists and humanitarian aid workers. Despite the fact that it has finally allowed the delivery of food and blankets, the Warsaw Government is not in favor of non-governmental organizations taking on the role of observers of the conflict in the area, where it has deployed more than 15,000 Army personnel. and the Police is the one that still does not allow entry to the UN.

Regrettable conditions

“We have asked the authorities of the two countries to immediately authorize access to that area for humanitarian representatives and human rights observers. Journalists and representatives of civil society should also be able to enter, “complained Throssell, who has urged the governments of Poland and Belarus to” solve this blockade urgently. ” The events to which he refers have been repeated since September 29 and affect several teams of the High Commissioner that were only able to interview representatives of civil society and 31 immigrants who arrived in the area between August and November. “The people questioned described the conditions in which they find themselves as disastrous on both sides of the border,” the spokeswoman reported, “with limited access to drinking water, food and warm clothing.”

Bruzgi transport and logistics center, on the Belarusian border with Poland
Bruzgi transport and logistics center, on the Belarusian border with Poland – Reuters

The Belarusian Government has set up several warehouses in the border area in which immigrants are welcomed while waiting for their repatriation, which has been negotiated with their countries of origin. Some of them have also related stories of mistreatment and situations in which they have been beaten by the Belarusian security forces and repeat that they are repeatedly driven to cross the border and that they receive concrete indications from the Belarusian soldiers on through which border points to pass. and at what time. The High Commissioner wishes to investigate these allegations and has requested the Government of Minsk to “stop these practices immediately”.

Many immigrants have reported mistreatment and harassment by the Belarusian security forces

“The active phase of the crisis has been overcome, but the reasons why it arose have not disappeared and the Minsk government is striving to maintain control of the situation,” explains the director of the Belarusian portal Reformatsia, which acknowledges that the EU has succeeded in reducing the flow of people through the channels through which migrants are transferred to Belarus from Iraq Y Syria. “However, the arrival of winter makes any situation dramatic now, even if it affects fewer people,” he adds.

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