Crisis on the Polish-Belarusian border.  Wojciech Berzozovsky, Deputy Ombudsman on the history of the Syrians, the lack of holidays at the border and the actions of the Lukashenko regime

The Deputy Ombudsman, Wojciech Brzozowski, discusses the situation of immigrants used by Aleksander Lukashenka in the hybrid war and the crisis on the border between Poland and Belarus in Jeden na single. – I try to talk about it all the time, so that in the next week, month or year it will still be noticeable, – he stressed. He also told the story of a Syrian whose daughter admitted him to the hospital and visited him.

University of Warsaw Professor Wojciech Berzozowski, Deputy Ombudsman, was a guest on TVN24’s “One for One” program on Saturday. Talking about the crisis on the Polish-Belarusian border – caused by the regime of Alexander Lukashenko – the West has called it a mixed war, in which the Belarusian leader is actively using migrants, forcing them, also with the help of services, to cross the border. borders illegally.

Berzozovsky told about one of the border situations that shocked him. – Yesterday’s story is especially shocking and heart-wrenching for me, and slightly ruins the sweet Christmas mood that reigns everywhere, – he said. – pointing out that there are no holidays in this forest near the border.

The Deputy Ombudsman talks about the story of a Syrian citizen

– Yesterday we received a case, in fact, a request to intervene in an ongoing case involving a Syrian citizen who was taken to hospital due to severe injuries sustained after crossing the border wall. (He was – ed.) in a very serious condition, in fact in agony – according to the Deputy Commissioner for Human Rights. And he continued: – A daughter came to him, who has been living in Germany for seven or eight years, and she lives legally. I don’t know if you can guess what was the first reaction of the doctors? The border guard calls this daughter.

Wojciech Brzozowski, Deputy Ombudsman, was a guest on “One for One” this Saturday on TVN24TVN24

The expert, however, assessed that “this is a story in a sense, one might say, optimistic” because “the border guards acted very well in this matter.” – You can thank the commander of the Podlasky border guard unit, who assured that if this was the case, he would really intervene in this situation and this person was allowed to see his dying father, – said Berzozovsky.

See also: Migrants continue to make their way from Belarus to Poland

Berzozovsky: I try to talk about it all the time

The Deputy Commissioner for Human Rights was also asked if he felt he had succeeded in desensitizing people to the situation at the border.

– I feel like I’m trying to do a lot on this issue, I feel like the people I talk to are opening their eyes to certain things – he said. He noted that he also sees a “risk” that “this crisis has been going on for a long time and we’ve been able to get enough – I say it with great sadness, but I know it’s there – from these reports (…) blurred into the background.”

– That is why I try to talk about it all the time, so that in the next week, month and year these things will still be noticeable, – emphasized Berzozovsky.

Deputy Ombudsman Wojciech Brzozowski on the situation on the border between Poland and Belarus: I try to talk about it all the timeTVN24

“I think things have changed for the better.”

The guest of the “One on One” program also noted that “the state has the right to defend its territorial sovereignty, and the border guards have their duties.”

– On the other hand, border guarding is one thing, and specific practices, including push-ups, which in our opinion are contrary to international law, the Geneva Convention on the Status of Refugees and European Union law, are also contrary to the Polish constitution, he said.

He explained that “the pushbacks are linked to specific procedures and specific practices that have their qualifications under the criminal law.” – There are acts that may be formally compatible with the law on foreigners, but at the same time have a specific dimension that can be classified under the penal code, when it comes to breaching the obligation to provide assistance (…), when it comes to abandoning a minor or an incapacitated person, go on.

Asked if he sees any change for the better, Brzozovsky replied: – We do not have indications that a certain type of situation happened often in the last year, that is, fewer people are brought to the border immediately after hospitalization.

– Of course, it is not easy with such people either, because they are often discharged in poor health, and therefore, according to the law, they should not be sent to a guard post for foreigners, but they often do, – the lawyer added. But he admitted that “something has really changed for the better here, or at least we don’t know that these situations have happened.”

He demanded that the duties of defending the frontier be separated “from what relates to the drama of a particular person.” – We don’t have to accept these people, we don’t have to let them live in Poland. This is a matter of immigration policy, which each country formulates in its own way. But some things, some borders are impassable. Respect for human dignity is a limit that cannot be crossed. This limit is the obligations arising from international law towards refugees – added the Deputy Commissioner for Human Rights.

Brzozowski: People arrive at the border with the shoe marks of the Belarusian border guards

To Marcin Zaborsky, the host of the program, commenting that, according to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Administration, Belarus is a safe country for migrants, so they can be sent there, Brzozovsky said: – I think all our viewers are aware of the absurdity of saying that Belarus is a safe country today.

– And it’s not even about the political system in Belarus, but also about the status of these people’s access to the Polish border. These people end up with traces of the shoes of the Belarusian border guards, after such strong kicks that are reflected on the body, they end up being bitten by the dogs of the Belarusian border guards – he said.

In his opinion, “it should be clear to everyone that Belarus is not a safe country today.”

Operation “dam”

The migration crisis was triggered on the borders of Belarus with Poland, Lithuania and Latvia in August 2021 by Alexander Lukashenko, who is accused of waging a mixed war in this way. This consists in the organized transportation of migrants to the borders of the territories of these three countries. During his reign, Lukashenka often threatened Europe with weakening border controls.

Read more on Crisis at the Polish-Belarusian border

The procedure for bringing migrants to Belarus from the Middle East or Africa to create a migration crisis was described in his blog in the summer of 2021 by Tadeusz Gekzan, a journalist for the Belarusian opposition channel Nexta.

In it, he explained that the Belarusian services were managing the “dam” process, which was invented 10 years ago, in this way. Under the guise of trips to Minsk, which promised transition to the European Union, the Lukashenka regime brought thousands of immigrants to Belarus. Then he takes them to the borders of the countries of the European Union, where the Belarusian services force them to cross them illegally. This process is still ongoing.

Main image source: tvn24

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