Monday, September 26

Poland reports more attempts to cross migrants from Belarus


Three large groups of migrants have tried to cross the border between Poland and Belarus illegally, authorities said.

The Polish Border Guard reported that a group of 100 people tried to force open the border near the town of Dubicze Cerkiewne.

The authority described the migrants as “aggressive” and said stones were thrown at Polish officials.

Meanwhile, a group of 40 immigrants reportedly tried twice to enter the EU member state near the village of Mielnik illegally. One soldier was injured in the head and had to receive medical treatment, a spokeswoman added.

“Aggressive foreigners attacked Polish services by throwing stones, tree branches and stun grenades,” the Border Guard said on Twitter.

According to the authority, there were 267 attempts to cross the border fence from Belarus on Tuesday.

Thousands of migrants, mainly from the Middle East, have tried to enter the European Union through Belarus for weeks.

The bloc has accused Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko of deliberately encouraging illegal migration to destabilize the EU in retaliation against sanctions.

On Tuesday, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen reiterated that the EU stands in solidarity with Poland, Lithuania and Latvia.

French President Emmanuel Macron echoed von der Leyen during a meeting Wednesday with Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.

Although the number of immigrants on the Polish border has decreased, Warsaw says the situation has not changed.

On Wednesday, Human Rights Watch (HRW) accused both Poland and Belarus of “serious human rights abuses” at the border.

“The Belarusian and Polish authorities have an obligation to prevent further deaths by guaranteeing regular humanitarian access to people trapped in the border area,” the NGO said in a statement.

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“While Belarus fabricated this situation without regard for human consequences, Poland shares responsibility for the acute suffering in the border area,” added Lydia Gall, lead researcher for Europe and Central Asia.

Polish authorities have previously been accused of driving migrants back to Minsk and violating asylum rights.

HRW also called on the EU to “begin to show solidarity with the victims who suffer and die on the border on both sides.”

Aid groups estimate that at least 11 people have died on both sides of the border since the crisis began this summer.

“Our research has shown that Poland’s actions are compounding the suffering that people are experiencing,” said Ben Ward, deputy director of HRW’s Europe and Central Asia Division.

“We believe that the European Union should focus more on that, as well as on the situation in Belarus,” he told Euronews.

“The EU has not put enough pressure on Poland to open the safe area around the border to humanitarian organizations.”

Click on the player above to see the full interview.


www.euronews.com

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