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The border with Belarus. Deputy Commissioner for Human Rights Hanna Machińska: what is happening there is a terror

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Dr. Hanna Machińska, deputy ombudsman, spoke about the situation of migrants on the Polish-Belarusian border on TVN24. “We remain blind and deaf as a state,” she assessed. She emphasized that migrants do not understand the procedure for applying for international protection. – We see women in advanced pregnancy. It is hard to expect that they will be full, conscious participants of the procedure. They must be taken care of in the first place. And it is the duty of the state – she said.

– Our experiences and statements officially made by the Border Guard are completely different. We meet people who declare their readiness to stay in Poland, who talk about their past and their activity, and therefore are afraid of returning to their countries, such as Kurds, citizens of Somalia, and Congo – said Machińska on TVN24.

In her opinion, “we remain blind and deaf as a country.” – People who find themselves in an absolute drama are silent participants in this procedure. They don’t understand this procedure, they don’t know it. Nobody tells them what should happen – she said.

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– When I pointed out to the officers that they should inform about the fact that these people have the right to apply for international protection, I learned that it was not the duty that this person had to report – she noted.

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Machińska: we break all the rules and traditions

– These people are in such a trauma that they do not know where they are or how they live. These are people about whom we have no idea, for what reasons they ended up in Poland, how they moved. You have to be there, you have to talk to these people – emphasized the deputy Commissioner for Human Rights. She added that “there is a need for a psychologist, doctor, support in all possible dimensions of the functioning of such a person, such a family”.

– During the escape, breaking through the forests, the woman gave birth to a child. Thanks to the officers who found her, and also such situations are identified by non-governmental organizations, she ended up in hospital at the last moment. We see women in advanced pregnancy. It is hard to expect that they will be full, conscious participants of the procedure. They must be taken care of in the first place. And this is the duty of the state – she emphasized.

– Why are we not talking today about what is happening in Germany? Normal procedures, refugees are treated according to the law. Nothing like that happens there. However, what is happening on the Polish-Belarusian border is simply a terror, she assessed.

She added that “we break all the rules and traditions.” – These are matters that will burden us as a state and each of these officials and those who issue such decisions – said Machińska.

Deputy Commissioner for Human Rights: the constitution guarantees that every human being respects dignity

She assessed that not accepting applications for international protection from migrants and taking them to the border line was “a breach of international law.” She added that “this is primarily a breach of the constitutional provisions.” – I think that so far we have paid too little attention to the fact that, however, the constitution guarantees respect for dignity to every human being, prohibition of torture, protection of children (…) and the right to asylum – she said.

– I have the impression that people who make such decisions do not know these rules, and if they do not, it proves very bad that these people are not prepared to conduct such activities – she assessed.

State of emergency on the eastern borderPAP

The state of emergency at the border with Belarus

The state of emergency at the border with Belarus, which had been in place since September 2, was extended on October 1 for another 60 days. Government officials justified the need to introduce a state of emergency, inter alia, by the fact that Alyaksandr Lukashenka’s regime is waging a hybrid war, using migrants mainly brought from the Middle East and then sent to the border with Poland to cross it illegally.

Main photo source: Artur Reszko / PAP



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