In Usnarz Górny, on the Polish-Belarusian border, several dozen migrants wander for another day. One of the Afghans said on a recording that he was supposed to send to his cousin that “the Polish police detained them in the city and transferred them to the border between Belarus and Poland.” However, the police denied having been involved in the arrest of the migrants and their transfer to the “no man’s land” strip. – I definitely deny such a situation – said the spokesman of the Podlasie police, sub-inspector Tomasz Krupa.
At the Polish-Belarusian border a migrant camp was established in Usnarz Górny in Podlasiepushed out of Belarus by the local services. The refugees are guarded by the Polish Border Guard and the Belarusian army. The authorities in Minsk are accused of deliberately transferring migrants from countries such as Iraq or Afghanistan across the borders with Lithuania, Latvia and Poland, which are also the borders of the Schengen area, in order to put pressure on the European Union because of the sanctions it has imposed on the Belarusian regime.
TVN24 reporter Adrian Zaborowski reported on Thursday after 1 p.m. that a few hours ago in Usnarz Górny representatives of the Salvation Foundation appeared together with an interpreter. As he said, Afghan citizens aged 15 to 25 have been traveling for 28 days and have been staying at the border for 11 days.
According to the interpreter, the migrants said that they had not eaten or drunk anything in the last 24 hours. – They are hungry, but earlier the Border Guard on the Polish side gave them something to eat. There are a lot of sick people – she added in an interview with journalists.
– They said they know what is happening in Afghanistan now, they have lost everything, some families are arrested, some are killed. They really wanted to get international protection here – said the translator.
Kalina Czwarnóg from the Ocrzenie Foundation told TVN24 that they donated, among other things, sleeping bags, tents, food and water to migrants.
– We have provided the power of attorney for lawyers in Poland to be filled in, who will be able to act as representatives of the people who are here and represent them before the Office for Foreigners and the Border Guard – she informed.
The TVN24 reporter said that, according to the latest information, there are 32 people in the camp. He added that some of the people were returned to the territory of Belarus.
The police deny having been involved in the arrest of the migrants
A recording was published on social media, which one of the Afghans traveling to the border sent to his cousin in his homeland.
“We are Afghan migrants. 40 people with families, with children. Polish police detained us in the city and transferred us to the border between Belarus and Poland,” the recording says. “We’ve been here in the forest for nine days. We eat leaves from trees and drink dirty water. It’s very cold, especially at night. It’s raining. We don’t have food, we don’t have water. for us to film “- says one of the migrants.
“Eight of us are lost in the forest. It is not clear whether they are alive or dead. It is so cold that we have the sick among us. I appeal to all organizations, especially the United Nations. Pay attention to us! Please help us. We will not live here for more than two days. Please save our lives “- one of the migrants asked in the recording.
However, the police denied having been involved in the arrest of the migrants and their transfer to the “no man’s land” strip. – I definitely deny such a situation – says the spokesman of the Podlasie police, sub-inspector Tomasz Krupa.
Questions for the Ministry of Interior and Administration
TVN24 reporter Katarzyna Gozdawa-Litwińska asked the Ministry of Interior and Administration with the question whether the refugees from Afghanistan managed to get to the territory of Poland and whether they were deported by the Polish services to the border. So far, no reply has been received.
Prime Minister on migrants: the people I sincerely sympathize with are a tool in the hands of Lukashenka
He was asked about the situation of migrants on the Polish-Belarusian border at a conference in Bydgoszcz Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki. He said that he “sincerely sympathizes with them”, adding that they are “an instrument, a tool in the hands of Mr. (President of Belarus, Alyaksandr) Lukashenka.” – In such a situation, we would have to succumb. Poland does not succumb, Poland reacts in a decisive manner – he stressed.
– Our border with Belarus is now being patrolled not only by the Border Guard. It is also being patrolled by the military to prevent instrumentalisation in the hands of Mr. Lukashenka, he said. – That is why we strongly oppose it, we are building the appropriate infrastructure, it is actually created – he explained. – We will never agree to succumb to such blackmail, and the European Union is already aware of it, said the Prime Minister.
He said that the situation related to migrants at the border is “a completely different matter from our commitment to the Afghans with whom we cooperated as part of our Polish Military Contingent in Afghanistan.”
When asked about the Polish idea to solve the problem with nomadic migrants, the head of government, inter alia, to provide them with accommodation and food, he did not answer the question directly. – The solution to the problem of people who try to enter the territory of Poland is not to let these people into the territory of Poland, because in a moment we may have a problem with tens of thousands of this type of people – he said.
– Poles must be able to protect their borders. Polish authorities must be able to protect the sovereignty of our territory and that is what we are doing – he said.
The head of the government also referred to the issue of migrants camped on the Polish-Belarusian border and evacuated people from Afghanistan on Facebook. “We have to work out new procedures throughout the European Union, because the methods that were previously used were wrong and led nowhere,” wrote the head of government.
“We are ready to let more people in, but a very important issue is their proper identification. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of National Defense have already created lists of people that we know can be admitted. We are waiting for such documents from the EU and NATO” – Morawiecki wrote.
Statement by the Belarusian State Border Committee
The Belarusian State Border Committee (GPK) claims that “Poland is trying to distort the picture of the situation on the border where migrants are camping, and journalists have been invited to the border to prepare biased materials and conceal illegal activities.” “In the presence of (journalists – ed.), The migrants were given water. Journalists of the Polish media were also informed that the refugees had been on the border for several days” – said GPK in a commentary for the Interfax-West agency.
According to the Belarusian side, refugees mainly from Afghanistan have created “a spontaneous camp in protest against their displacement on the territory of Belarus”. Poland – according to the Belarusian side – “tries to hide its illegal activities from the international community”. Belarusians also claim that Poles brought a group of migrants to the border with “military cars”.
Expert: The situation is a bit absurd. A group of migrants was made a primitive camping site
– The situation is a bit absurd – said Marcin Samsel, a security expert, on TVN24 on Thursday. He pointed out that “only in August, over 2,000 people reached Poland via this illegal route”. – Some of them have already been detained deep in Poland and placed in a refugee center – he added.
– It is a bit strange that suddenly this one group was detained and made such a primitive camping, breaking all kinds of humanitarian rules. And I say this not as an expert, but as a human being, commented Samsel.
According to the TVN24 guest “it is inhumane what is going on there”. – Especially in a civilized country in the center of Europe, which constitutes the external border of (the Schengen zone – ed.) – he added.
Deputy head of the Ministry of Interior and Administration on the situation of migrants in Usnarz Górny
Maciej Wąsik, deputy head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Administration, spoke about the situation in Usnarz Górny on Wednesday. He denied that the migrants were in no-man’s belt. – They are in Belarus, this is a Belarusian problem – he said.
– The task of the Border Guard and the Polish Army that supports it is to ensure the security of the Polish border and the security of citizens. We are taking such actions and we will be consistent in this – he stated.
When asked by a TVN24 reporter about the situation of people who have been sleeping in the open air for several days and among whom there are women with children, and how the department wants to deal with the humanitarian dimension of this event, Wąsik replied that “we treat women and children differently. than young men of recruiting age who are well dressed and who apparently lack nothing. “
– It seems to me that this problem should be solved by those who did this problem, i.e. those who brought them from Baghdad to the capital of Belarus, to Minsk, where they were transferred to the Polish border. We have a duty to take care of Poles, for their safety and peace – he explained.
Wąsik: the situation on the border is not an image crisis for Poland
The deputy head of the Ministry of Interior and Administration was asked how the ministry assesses what is happening on the Lithuanian-Belarusian and Polish-Belarusian borders. – We are aware that the Belarusian side inspires certain things. We must be firm here, so as to ensure the security of Poland and Lithuania – he explained. He added that the government was conducting “some talks” with the Belarusian side. “They’re going to solve the crisis,” he said casually.
Wąsik did not agree with the opinion that the situation in Usnarz Górny was an image crisis for Poland.
How do the services want to protect the 400-kilometer section of the Polish-Belarusian border? Wąsik reported that a large part of this border is “marshes, a river”, where crossing the border is difficult. – In fact, we have a 180-kilometer section, where these forces are strengthened, where we have 100 kilometers of additional devices in the form of barbed wire entanglements. We plan to spread a further 50 kilometers – he described. – If there is a need, the military is able to multiply its participation in the assistance of the Border Guard at any time – he added.
Wąsik reported that the nomadic migrants “are mostly Iraqis, some Afghans, Tajiks, often Armenians and other nations to a lesser extent.” – Generally they are men, mostly young, of recruitable age, strong. There is no indication that they are in danger of something bad in their country – he argued.
When asked how the migrants explained their presence at the border, Wąsik replied that he had not spoken to them. – On the other hand, it is a line to the European Union, a line to luxury, a line to places where you can live, receive benefits and not work – he assessed.
On Thursday afternoon, the Minister of National Defense Mariusz Błaszczak said that Polish soldiers had erected over 100 kilometers of fencing on the border strip. “The Polish Army seals the borders with Belarus. I am in constant contact with the commanders. The soldiers have already erected over 100 km of fencing on the border strip. They are also starting laying another 50 km” – wrote Błaszczak on Twitter. The entry was accompanied by photos of barbed wire entanglements.
Main photo source: twitter.com/sip_intervention