Belarus border crisis: Poland detains 100 migrants


The Polish Defense Ministry reported on Thursday that several attempts had been made to cross the border with Belarus. It said on Twitter that around 100 migrants have been detained.

As regional leaders consider the next step in the Belarus-Poland border crisis, thousands of migrants remain in the border region.

Aid groups have said at least 11 migrants have died since the summer crisis began

Belarusian special forces charged with helping with the crossing

The Polish Ministry alleges that the Belarusian Spetsnaz, or special forces, conducted reconnaissance and possibly damaged the barbed wire fence.

“Then Belarusians forced the migrants to throw stones at Polish soldiers to distract them. Attempts to cross the border took place several hundred meters away,” the ministry said.

In video footage, Polish soldiers can be seen surrounding a large group of people surrounded by darkness.

DW correspondent Barbara Wessel is in the Polish border area and said that according to Polish border officials, in one instance hundreds of migrants tried to cross. Wessel said it is not known whether anyone built it.

“Five hundred migrants tried to break the border. So they tried to push through a really big group with the idea that the police would catch some, but maybe not all, so we don’t know how many of them made it through, and that shows that it is not completely over. … there are still hundreds of migrants in this vast border area in the wild trying to make their way into the European Union.”

Migrants are facing difficult conditions

The situation has improved for some migrants trying to immigrate to the EU, with some being sheltered in a warehouse in Belarus. However, hundreds of others live outside in the cold and face extremely challenging conditions.

Barbara Wessel of DW was able to accompany aid workers who had gone to the aid of a Syrian man who had fallen ill somewhere in the woods.

“It was indeed a heartbreaking experience, as we had received a notification from the local aid workers that someone had called for help from the forest, and we went with them into the forest. It took four hours to find the young man. And he was a Syrian from Holmes, completely exhausted, he fell ill on the way, his group had overtaken him,” Wessel said.

“At least they sent a location pin to this support group, which then went to find it. They could not help him on the way, he was very ill, he had to go to the hospital. And now the point is that they are trying to stop the Polish police from pushing him back across the Belarusian border, because that would be something this guy definitely won’t avoid. ,

Poland has passed legislation in parliament allowing groups of migrants to be pushed back to Belarus.

Gerald Knauss, a former migration adviser to the German government, told DW that what is happening at the border is in violation of EU law.

“The Polish prime minister is not even arguing that this is in line with EU law. He simply says and explains that EU law should be irrelevant because Poland is facing an invasion. And so these basic Principles, these conventions have been suspended. It is legally clear, unfortunately, politically, it is also clear that there is now a consensus in the EU to accept this violation.

The EU must exercise ‘humanitarian control’

Naus said migrants arriving in Poland should be allowed to apply for asylum while ways to prevent travel to Belour are explored. He said the EU should use what it calls “humanitarian control”.

“Humanitarian control would be to say that our laws are clear. Those arriving in Poland have the right to apply for asylum in Poland or the European Union. And if we want to prevent people from going to Belarus, we need to look for other ways to do so.” It’s an effort, but it’s worth it. If you believe in the fundamental convention of human rights.”

The Migration Advisor also said that the guiding principles of the 1951 Refugee Convention have been sidelined.

“The core of the refugee convention is no longer respected by any major democracy. So in the 70th year of the refugee convention on our borders, unfortunately this refugee convention is no longer guiding what is happening.”