On Wednesday, people who wanted to demonstrate their solidarity with 32 migrants on the Polish-Belarusian border gathered in front of the headquarters of the Border Guard Headquarters on Aleja Niepodległości in Warsaw.
According to Mateusz Szmelter from tvnwarszawa.pl, about 100 people appeared in front of the headquarters of the Border Guard Headquarters at 6 p.m. – The protest is proceeding calmly. Demonstrators occupy the pavement next to the building, the road is passable. Order is guarded by several dozen policemen – our reporter described just after 6 pm. And he added that the demonstrators carry banners with slogans such as: “Welcome refugees”, “Not for racism”, “No more cruelty, accept refugees.”
“It’s a grassroots demonstration”
In the announcement of the event on Facebook, the organizers explained that the border guards would gather in solidarity with 32 people “held for several days on the Polish-Belarusian border”. “The Border Guard, in violation of the Geneva Convention and Polish law, denies them the right to apply for asylum. The group is isolated from humanitarian aid, has no access to water, food, medicine and hygiene products. Human rights organizations speak directly about torture and inhuman treatment, to whom imprisoned persons are subjected, the organizers wrote.
– This is a grassroots, civic demonstration. I think that there are many people who, like me, observe the events at the border in the media, feel anger and powerlessness. The Polish state breaks the law and the elementary principles of decency. This is the moment to say out loud: you are not doing it on our behalf, there is no public consent to such harm to innocent, defenseless and desperate people – said Bartosz Matyja, one of the organizers, quoted in the release.
The participation in the meeting was also announced by: the Legal Intervention Association, which has been helping refugees in Poland for years, the Open House Association, the United Against Racism coalition, the Catholic Kontakt Magazine, other organizations and informal groups dealing with human rights.
They want international protection
As reported on tvn24.pl, in Usnarz Górny (Podlasie), on the Polish-Belarusian border, on the Belarusian side, for several days a group of migrants are camping. These people are not allowed into Poland, the border is secured by the Border Guard and soldiers. Migrants on the Belarusian side do not want to return to Belarus. They want to enter Poland and apply for international protection.
Main photo source: Mateusz Szmelter / tvnwarszawa.pl