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Migrants on the Polish-Belarusian border. Witold Jurasz on the responsibility of the regime in Minsk

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Migrants brought to Belarus by the regime in Minsk keep arriving on Polish territory. Some of them, after being taken over by the Polish services, are sent to the borders with Belarus. – What all participants of this conversation consider humanitarianism, Alyaksadr Lukashenka will treat as evidence of weakness – commented in “Faktach po Faktach” the former chargé d’affaires of the Polish embassy in Belarus, Vytautas Jurasz. According to Aleksandra Fertlińska from Amnesty International, “everything that is happening now on the Polish border is not in accordance with Polish law, as well as with international law.”

The situation on the border with Belarus has not changed all the time. There are more and more cases in which migrants try to enter the territory of Poland. They are mostly people from the Middle East and Africa. Migrant groups include not only adults, but also children. – Yesterday we detained a pregnant woman who had 13 children with her. These weren’t her children. It seems that they were separated from their families and forcibly pushed to the Polish side. Half of these children were hospitalized because they are ill with COVID-19, said Tomasz Praga, commander-in-chief of the Border Guard, on Monday.

Onet’s journalist and former chargé d’affaires of the Polish embassy in Belarus, Witold Jurasz and Aleksandra Fertlińska from Amnesty International Polska, commented on the matter in the Thursday edition of “Fakty po Faktach”.

The situation on the border with Belarus. Jurasz: Lukashenka’s regime is the organizer of this operation

Jurasz emphasized that it should not be forgotten that the Lukashenka regime is responsible for what is happening on the Polish-Belarusian border. – These are the organizers of this operation. The abstraction from this obscures reality, he pointed out.

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– Please feel for a moment how Lukashenka thinks. What all participants in this conversation consider to be humanitarianism, Alyaksadr Lukashenka will treat as evidence of weakness. If we let 30 people in, then 100 will show up tomorrow – he said.

– If these are children, pregnant women or people who, if they are sent back, there is a probability that something will happen to them, then in such cases this policy should not be used (push-back), because everything must have its own limits, but politics is the art of balancing values ​​and interests. If we choose one of the extremes, we will pay for it – he added.

Aleksandra Fertlińska on the rules of applying for asylum

When asked about the push-back procedure, Aleksandra Fertlińska noted that “this is not a legal procedure”. – Everything that is happening on the Polish border now is not in accordance with Polish law, as well as with international law. Anyone who shows up at the border of a country – even if they do not have documents, even if they have crossed that border irregularly – and says that they are in danger, has the right to apply for asylum in that country. The circumstances in which she arrived at the border are irrelevant, she is protected by law – she said.

As she added, “it is not that such a person will always be granted refugee status.” – Sometimes these decisions are negative and these people have to return to the countries they came from – she explained.

According to her, the regulation on border traffic, which regulates the current activities on the Polish-Belarusian border, “is inconsistent with international standards.” – It denies that the possibility to apply for asylum is working. (…) Every person who comes to Polish territory and says that he needs protection, his application should be accepted, referred to the office for foreigners and properly examined there. Then a positive or negative decision comes. What is happening on the Polish border is contrary to any standards and means that Poland does not recognize the asylum law, she added.

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