State of emergency extended. Piotr Bystranin, president of the Ocrzenie Foundation, involved in helping migrants, talked about the situation of people he met. – They ran away from the country from which you have to flee because it’s dangerous there. These people were very cold and scared. They say you are lying to them – he assessed in an interview with a TVN24 reporter.
Last week, a group of migrants – including women and eight children – who stayed near the Border Guard building in Michałów, was pushed to the border with Belarus. This was confirmed by a spokeswoman for the Border Guard.
On Wednesday, President Andrzej Duda signed and sent to the Sejm a motion to consent to the extension of the state of emergency for 60 days. On Thursday evening, the Seym agreed to this. 237 deputies voted for, 179 against, 31 abstained. The president signed the ordinance on the extension of the state of emergency on Friday and it was published in the Journal of Laws.
Piotr Bystranin on migrants: they flee a country torn by war
Piotr Bystranin, president of the Ocalenie Foundation, has been involved in activities for refugees and immigrants in Poland for over 13 years. In an interview with a TVN24 reporter, he spoke about the situation of these people.
– They ran away from the country from which you have to flee because it’s dangerous there. These people were very cold and scared. They say that you lie to them, that they will be taken somewhere warm, probably so that they do not resist, and then they are thrown out in the forest, ordered to cross the border. There was also a thirteen-year-old child there – he reported.
– They only wanted water and food from us, to warm them up, to give them clothes, because at the border people were already dying of hypothermia. This is something legal, human. People are extremely tired – he said.
– If we are visited by people who have fled from a country, for example one torn by war, when they see people with long rifles, balaclavas, in uniforms who tell them something, they do it, because in their country a man can shoot. They go to the other side, and there, if they try to get to Minsk, they told us that there were Belarusian soldiers who were beating them, ordering them to go back the other way. And so they are between the hammer and the anvil – reports Bystranin.
Piotr Bystranin: they only want to survive
– People who have not yet been brutally expelled from Poland, or only once or twice, behave differently than people who have experienced it ten or a dozen times – he estimates. In the latter case, she adds, “people are only trying to survive”.
– They are exhausted, often many days – just like those people yesterday – six days without food or water, they are still cold, wet, afraid and are in such a state that they are just trying to survive. Sometimes even contact is difficult, it is difficult to extract basic information from them, they are so shocked, so scared – he concluded.
Over 160 people have already been detained
Since August, the Border Guard detained over 160 people for organizing the illegal crossing of the Belarusian border. All of them heard the accusation of aiding in committing the crime – said the press spokeswoman of the Border Guard, 2nd Lt. Anna Michalska.
Most people were detained by the Podlasie Border Guard, which protects the longest section of the border with Belarus. Border guards detained 135 people there, who most often tried to transport illegal immigrants into the interior of the country or to other European Union countries. The Bug River Border Guard detained 4 people for aiding.
The head of the Ministry of Interior and Administration, Mariusz Kaminski, said in the Sejm last week that “there are 4,000 Border Guard officers on the Polish-Belarusian border. 2,500 soldiers, several hundred policemen from preventive and counter-terrorist units”.
Main photo source: TVN24