Thousands protest against pushback – Government protects border fence
The government in Poland is taking massive action against immigrants from Belarus: parliament has approved pushbacks and a strong border system is planned. Strict migration policy pushed thousands of people into the streets over the weekend.
D.Ausende demonstrated on Sunday in the Polish capital, Warsaw, against the rejection of immigrants on the Belarusian border. The protesters’ signs were “Stop torture at the border” and “Nobody is illegal”. The Polish parliament on Thursday legalized the so-called pushbacks, i.e. rejections at the border.
In addition, Polish authorities will leave people’s asylum applications “unchecked” in the future so that the person concerned does not enter the area where their lives and liberties are threatened. In addition, Poland wants to build a reinforced border facility for 353 million euros. UN Refugee Agency has expressed its deep concern that the fundamental right to asylum in UNHCR is being undermined. The amendment, which was not signed by President Andrzej Duda, was passed by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. At the same time, the UNHCR stressed that states should not abuse refugees and migrants to achieve political goals.
Governments in Latvia, Lithuania and Poland have accused Belarusian ruler Alexander Lukashenko of bringing refugees from crisis areas into the EU’s outer border in an organized manner. Lukashenko announced at the end of May that Minsk would no longer bar immigrants from continuing to travel to the EU – in response to the tightening of Western sanctions against his country. Since then, there have been increasing reports of attempts to cross the EU’s border with Belarus.
In the past few months, thousands of people from the Middle East and Africa have tried to move from Belarus to Poland, Latvia or Lithuania. Protesters criticize those who threatened to freeze the border if they were rejected. Many participants created banners from rescue blankets. Seven people have died in the past few months on the EU’s eastern border.
The Polish government protects the border fence
In the past few weeks, the National Conservative government in Warsaw has placed thousands of soldiers on the border, erected barbed wire fences and imposed a state of emergency to allow journalists and aid agencies to reach the 400km border.
“If there is no fence and good cooperation between the military and the border guards, we will face a migration crisis like in 2015,” Defense Minister Marius Blascock said in support of the cause on Twitter on Saturday. It is also planned to install the fence permanently. The government is talking about a “block”, a “wall” of opposition.
The Polish border guard, meanwhile, announced on Friday that a large group of 70 migrants had already tried to overcome the blockade in the village of Myelnik. “We defended the border along with the soldiers,” it said. A total of 592 attempts to cross the border illegally between Belarus and Poland were recorded on Friday.
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