Despite security measures and information campaigns, people who try to reach Poland are still dying on the Polish-Belarusian border. Prosecutors’ offices conduct investigations into the found bodies of refugees. According to the volunteers, many of these dramas could have been avoided if the current rulers wanted to. Material of the magazine “Polska i Świat”.
Last day on the border with Belarus more than 20 people from Egyptwhich crossed the border with Poland on the tracks were detained by the Border Guard. They passed through a place packed with electronics and the Belarusian services know it well.
border guards writes that it was the Belarusians who deliberately brought a group of migrants to this place. The Belarusian regime has been deliberately attracting people from Africa and the Middle East to the border with Poland for almost two years.
Trapped in a trap, they try to cross to Poland until they succeed. These attempts sometimes end tragically. The last days are Białowieża and another body found. “We had information that this person may be in bad shape health. Friends who went with humanitarian aid, with food, with drink, with basic medical assistance found a body on the spot, this man was already dead – says Aleksandra Chrzanowska from the Granica Group.
The District Prosecutor’s Office in Hajnówka has launched an investigation. Cases concerning the deaths of other people are handled by the District Prosecutor’s Office in Suwałki.
Investigations on the conduct of migrants
There are currently three investigations. The first concerns the involuntary manslaughter of 12 people initially migration crisis – most died of hypothermia.
The prosecutor’s office partially discontinued some of the threads, not seeing signs of a crime. The second investigation concerns the deaths of six or more people, because it also involves human remains and is still ongoing. The third is the most recent story from a month ago and the death of a young Ethiopian woman – her case is also being dealt with by the office of the Ombudsman.
– There were some doubts whether the police officers, having information that this lady is near Hajnówka, whether they did everything to help her – says Maciej Grześkowiak from the office of the Commissioner for Human Rights.
According to volunteers operating at the border, people who were with the woman were supposed to seek help in Hajnówka and notify the police. They were taken back to the border – the woman died.
– This person was so close to being saved. It was so imaginative. She was a well-known teacher in her region, thousands of people came to her funeral – points out Kamil Syller, a lawyer from Podlasie.
Polish courts deal with migrants’ cases
For almost two years, the Border Guard, with the consent of the authorities, has been withdrawing people to the border, although this is against the law. – The practice of pushbacks is unfortunately incompatible with Polish, EU and international law. The practice of pushbacks in its current form is unacceptable – points out Maciej Grześkowiak.
The Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights handles several cases concerning migrants – the Association of Legal Intervention also handles them. In one of them, he is fighting for compensation in the amount of PLN 240,000 for three Afghans.
– This is the first case of this kind in Poland, in which we have already managed to prove to the court quite effectively that this pushback actually took place – says Małgorzata Jaźwińska from the Association of Legal Intervention. – Now, in connection with the court decision we have obtained, indicating the irregularity of the actions of the Polish services, we are seeking compensation – he adds.
No one was punished in this case, but the court found the actions of the guards to be incorrect. And although there are plenty of similar cases, a similar path is difficult to repeat.
Bodies of migrants discovered on the Polish-Belarusian border
– Most of the situations that happen at the border do not have the element of stopping. This makes bringing a claim for damages a little more complicated, admits Małgorzata Jaźwińska.
Many people end up back at the border without actually being detained and without evidence. The fate of hundreds of them is unknown. – Most of these bodies will never be found again, because nature will absorb them – states Aleksandra Chrzanowska. So far, 38 bodies have been found near the border.
Main photo source: Twitter/Border Guard