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Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Migrants on the Polish-Belarus border. The Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatovic at the border. Meeting with Jerzy Owsiak

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Due to the migration crisis, Dunja Mijatovic, Commissioner of the Council of Europe for Human Rights, came to the Polish-Belarusian border on Tuesday. She met local authorities and representatives of non-governmental organizations. She will continue her visit tomorrow. As she said, she will also meet representatives of the Polish authorities in Warsaw.

The Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatovic, stated that the reason why she is in Poland is the situation on the Polish-Belarusian border.

– The case is evidently extremely complex and problematic. We see enormous suffering of people who are left there in suspense. What Belarus is doing is absolutely unacceptable when people are manipulated, she said.

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She emphasized that she had met with representatives of non-governmental organizations that provide aid on the Polish-Belarusian border. She pointed out that, like journalists, they are not allowed to enter the area under the state of emergency. – It is difficult for me to understand why in the 21st century, when journalists in a situation of war can be at the point of conflict, they cannot be here. This should be possible, also for humanitarian and international organizations, including the United Nations and others that are doing their important work, she added.

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Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights on the Polish-Belarusian borderTVN24

Tvn24.pl report: The crisis on the Polish-Belarusian border

Meeting with local government representatives and volunteers of non-governmental organizations

Earlier, the TVN24 reporter Przemysław Kaleta reported that Mijatovic met, among others, with representatives of local authorities, including the mayor and deputy mayor of Michałów. She also talked to volunteers from foundations and non-governmental organizations that provide humanitarian aid.

Dunja MijatovicMARCUS BRANDT / DPA / PAP

As Kaleta said, “the commissioner listened to the situation at the very border, what the crisis is facing, and how NGOs are helping or trying to help.” Among her interlocutors were volunteers of the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity.

– The Commissioner (us – editor) thanked us very much. These are things that are unanimous with the idea of ​​a common Europe. That is why it is here (Mijatovic – ed.) To take a look, to give his assessment of the standards of human rights on the Polish-Belarusian border, said the head of the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity, Jerzy Owsiak.

As he added, “everyone must take it into account, at every latitude”. – If there are situations where we have to act in accordance with conventions, with the law, we have to take into account that people who control it, who want to help and observe it, he added.

Owsiak: we have to take into account the fact that people are coming who control the standards of observing human rights

Owsiak: we have to take into account the fact that people are coming who control the standards of observing human rightsTVN24

On Monday, Mijatovic met with the human rights ombudsman

On Monday Mijatovic met with the Ombudsman, Marcin Wiącek.

She admitted that it was “difficult to say” what she expected from the visit. – The situation is very complex, as the Commissioner for Human Rights I want to be of help to the Polish authorities, member states of the Council of Europe and to people – she said. She noted that it is extremely important for her to talk and meet people.

Dunja Mijatovic met with the Commissioner for Human RightsTVN24

When asked if she thought human rights were respected on the Polish-Belarusian border, she replied: “no, not really.”

The Commissioner for Human Rights said that the Commissioner had come for a four-day “humanitarian visit, the purpose of which is to observe the protection of human dignity and the humanitarian protection of people who are on Polish territory.”

Wiącek said that he had talked with Mijatovice about the activities he is taking as the Ombudsman in this regard and about regular visits to the border with the participation of the employees of the Ombudsman’s office. When asked what effect this visit could bring, he said that “the Commissioner came to see with her own eyes what was happening and the result will be the formulation of a position, opinion, recommendation”.

Commissioner of the Council of Europe for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatovic, after the Commissioner for Human Rights

Commissioner of the Council of Europe for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatovic, after the Commissioner for Human RightsTVN24

Main photo source: TVN24



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