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Tuesday, October 26, 2021

A state of emergency on the Polish-Belarusian border. Patrick Radzimierski about refugees from Usnarz Górny and children from Michałów

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Patrick Radzimierski, a lawyer and representative of migrants, who started to camp in Usnarz Górny in August, spoke on TVN24 about the situation on the Polish-Belarusian border and about children who were subjected to the so-called push back, so they returned from Poland. These migrants were also likely to have been pushed abroad, he said.

There is a migration crisis on the Polish-Belarusian border, a state of emergency is in force in the border area. In the last week of September, after a stormy debate in the Sejm, it was extended for another 60 days. Journalists, among others, are not allowed to enter the state of emergency, which means that the only information about the situation on the spot comes from the Border Guard and state authorities.

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The representative of migrants from Usnarz Górny: we have reasonable reasons to believe that they were pushed out of the territory of Poland

On Tuesday, the guest of “Rozmowy Piasecki” on TVN24 was Patrick Radzimierski, a lawyer, representative of migrants who started to camp in Usnarz Górny in August.

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– We have signals that these refugees are still staying there, although we do not have access to them, because the Polish authorities refuse to comply with the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights, which ordered the admission of proxies – he said. He added that he and other plenipotentiaries had “very limited telephone contact” with the migrants.

– We suppose and have reasonable grounds to believe that they were pushed out of the territory of Poland. To what extent they are effectively and whether they are entirely beyond the border line, or maybe this camp is partly on ours, partly on the Belarusian side, it is very difficult to say – added Radzimierski.

As the lawyer said, refugees from Usnarz Górny “count on Poland to recognize the applications for international protection that they submitted to Border Guard officers in our presence.” – These applications were submitted first there on the spot, then by the plenipotentiaries to the Border Guard. As far as I know, it was sent by the Border Guard to the Office for Foreigners. But we do not have information that the procedure for international protection has been initiated – he said.

“There is no law that would allow several-year-old children to be taken to the forest”

Radzimierski was also asked about a group of migrants – including women and eight children – who stayed near the Border Guard building in Michałów and was transported to the border with Belarus on September 27.

Read more: How the rulers changed the narrative on migrants from Michałów

– There are specific procedures that must be implemented in this case. If someone is a refugee, crossing the border illegally does not mean that he can be punished for it. The Geneva Convention decriminalizes this. (…) If it was hypothetically assumed that these people did not apply for international protection, they could be charged with illegal border crossing and appropriate procedures could be initiated – explained the lawyer.

However, he stressed that “there is no law that would allow children of several years to be taken to the forest and thrown over the wire entanglements”.

Main photo source: TVN24



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