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Sunday, October 24, 2021

Migrants on the Polish-Belarusian border. After the European Court’s decision, lawyers entered the area under the state of emergency

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After the decision of the European Court of Human Rights, a group of lawyers and an interpreter entered the area under the state of emergency to reach a group of migrants staying at the Polish-Belarusian border. The Tribunal obliged Poland, inter alia, to provide them with food, medical care and warm clothes. By extending interim measures, it also ruled to ensure direct contact with lawyers.

At the end of August European Court of Human Rights decided that Poland must provide migrants food, clothes, medical care and – if possible – temporary shelter. The decision was issued for three weeks. The ECtHR noted that the temporary measures issued “should not be understood as a requirement” that Poland allow these migrants to enter its territory. The same guidelines were also provided by the ECtHR to Latvia. There are 41 Iraqi Kurds wandering along the Latvian-Belarusian border.


On September 27, the Court extended the interim measures ordered in the case by extending the obligation of the Polish authorities to provide a group of refugees from Usnarz Górny with access to food, warm clothes, hygiene products, shelter and medical care. Poland was also obliged to enable migrants to contact lawyers. It was also decided to introduce a ban on the pushing of migrants to Belarus.

In connection with this decision, attorney Daniel Witko (Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights), attorney Małgorzata Jaźwińska (Association for Legal Intervention) and attorney-at-law Patrick Radzimierski, as well as a translator of the Dari language visited Usnarz Górny. They are already in the area under the state of emergency.

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Polish-Belarusian border (photo from 20/08/2021) Irina Polina / ITAR-TASS / PAP

The EU commissioner wants to talk to the Polish side about the situation of migrants

On this matter, the EU Commissioner Ylva Johansson, responsible for internal affairs in the EU, wants to meet Mariusz Kamiński, Minister of the Interior and Administration. On September 23, the spokesman of the European Commission, Adalbert Jahnz, explained that it was about a discussion on the financial and operational assistance that is available to Poland to support our country in managing the external border of the European Union.

So far, no such conversation has taken place. The head of the Ministry of Interior and Administration stated at the Monday conference that no one had called the ministry on this matter.

– I know Ms Johansson, we talked, she was my guest here some time ago, relatively recently, there is no communication problem in relations between the European Commission and the Ministry of the Interior. If there is such a contact, if Mrs Johansson wants to talk to me, then of course we are in the working relationship between the European Commission and the Ministry of the Interior. However, there was no attempt to hold such a conversation – he said.

On Tuesday, the TVN24 correspondent from Brussels, Maciej Sokołowski, said that the European Commission tried to arrange an interview on Friday, on the weekend and on Monday, but the Polish side did not provide any dates. He added that Commissioner Johansson will be in Poland on Thursday evening. This is because of a flight from Slovenia with a change in Warsaw. According to Sokołowski, the commissioner is ready to talk face-to-face with representatives of the Polish government.

Maciej Sokołowski on attempts to contact the EU commissioner with the Ministry of Interior and AdministrationTVN24

Main photo source: Irina Polina / ITAR-TASS / PAP

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