Tension on the Polish-Belarus border is rising again. More than 200 migrants tried to enter just this Saturday

The situation on the Polish-Belarus border is increasingly tense. On Saturday, police in the Polish village of Starzyna announced on Twitter that about 50 migrants had managed to pass through the barbed wire divisions between the two countries and would be scattered across the forests that make up much of the topography along the more than 5 km. 400 kilometers of border. All were collected by the police and returned to the border, a practice which, if these people applied for international protection, is illegal under international law.

Between the city of Bruzgi, in Belarus, and Kuznica, in Poland alone, there are 2000 people camped, the temperatures at night are already entering negative and, according to the information collected by CNN among Belarusian guards near the border, at least 200 are children, some in arms. Confirmed deaths are already over ten and the “New York Times” says that the most recent victim is a young boy, who will have died of cold like most other deaths recorded in the area since temperatures began to drop.

The US jail is the only western media across the border and all the other journalists on the ground on the Polish side are also unable to reach the border because there is a three kilometer security perimeter imposed by the state of emergency.

Migrants who are trapped between the two countries have launched appeals through social networks, but it is only possible to speak in person with those who, as happened on Saturday, manage to escape through less guarded areas of the border and enter the forests already on Polish territory. There are several associations working to help these people, and also some Poles who are not part of any one in particular have tried to help by opening the door for some of these people, so they can take a hot shower, eat, charge the phones, or just to sleep.

Expresso has already spoken to some of the people who have been helping migrants in these villages closer to Belarus, but as they can have legal problems if they help them, they usually do not accept to give their name.

One woman told us that people arrive “in a very debilitated state, either from extreme exhaustion or from hunger and some also because they have wounds that they have infected”. It’s impossible to really help everyone. “We have to do the minimum, hide the people and then ask them to leave and follow the path and yes, it’s dangerous for us and I won’t be able to do this forever I don’t have the money for that either.”

On CNN, one of the women at the border, Shoxan Hussain, said she left Iraqi Kurdistan with her husband and four-year-old son Azhi Ali because the child needs back surgery and is no longer able to walk. “I was told that in Germany the surgery is very good and in Kurdistan it could fail”.

The Belarus Red Cross is delivering food, but people who spoke to CNN say it is not enough. In the videos recorded by the journalist, there is no infrastructure built to help these people, just a tank with drinking water. Authorities expect the number of people to double to at least 5,000 within a week, even as news reports that most airlines connecting the main Middle East capitals and Minsk are banning Iraqi citizens from boarding. , Syria, Afghanistan, Yemen and other countries from which most migrants normally arrive.

A Polish military man on the Belarusian border tries to stack more barbed wire to keep out migrants arriving via this new route

jaap arriens/getty images

On Saturday alone, more than 233 people tried to cross the border, according to the Polish border guard. Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki urged NATO to take “concrete measures” and said that Poland, Lithuania and Latvia can request consultations under Article 4 of the NATO Charter, which can only be done if a country consider its territorial integrity, political independence or national security to be at stake.

Two diplomats told the Guardian on Thursday that the EU is considering imposing sanctions on the airports themselves, in an attempt to further hamper the operations of companies that continue to bring in people from the Middle East. “We will give the green light to extend the legal framework of new sanctions against Belarus so that they can be applied to all those involved in smuggling migrants into this country,” EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell told the French newspaper “ Le Journal du Dimanche”.

Source: Expresso by expresso.pt.

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