The UN Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants, Felipe González Morales, presented preliminary conclusions after his visit to Poland and Belarus. He stated that Poland is using so-called pushbacks at the border and moving women and children to open centers.
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Call to ban pushbacks
Felipe González Morales met in Poland, incl. with authorities, activists and migrants. On the other hand, he was not allowed to talk to migrants in Belarus. The UN representative stated that there are still migrants trapped in the border area between Poland and Belarus, who – he noted – are subjected to violence and pushbacks from both sides. As he added, Belarus has not presented convincing facts to deny that the situation at the border was caused by the actions of the Belarusian authorities. Despite the fact that the Polish border is constantly stormed by illegal migrants from different regions of Africa and the Middle East and is often in possession of Russian visas, González Morales called on Poland to withdraw from the regulations, which – he said – pushbacks penalized.
Morales ruled that the situation of migrants at the border reflects the geopolitical crisis in the region.
But migrants should not be exploited or sacrificed
– said the representative of the United Nations.
According to him, on the Polish side, children or pregnant women are “locked up” in closed centers for immigrants.
I have asked the Polish authorities to use detention in centers as a last resort
Gonzalez Morales said. To the extent that temporary detention centers fall under international law, he argued, this is not the case for children, pregnant women and other particularly vulnerable people.
I call on the competent authorities to immediately release unaccompanied children, children with their families, pregnant women and people with mental disorders. And to transfer them to open objects
– stated the UN rapporteur.
The situation at the border
The border guard said 27 foreigners tried to get to Poland from Belarus last day. A group of people crossed the border through the backwaters of the Leśna Prawa River. The border guard reported on Twitter that the detained foreigners were citizens of Congo, Somalia, Cameroon and Guinea, among others.
Thirteen foreigners have illegally crossed the border through the floodplain of the Leśna Prawa River, on the section protected by the Border Guard post in Białowieża, the Border Guard said.
According to Border Guard data, 789 attempts to illegally cross the Polish-Belarusian border have been recorded since the beginning of July.
A dam on the Polish-Belarusian border
The construction of a steel dam on the border is coming to an end. Initially, it was supposed to end on June 30. Work is still underway on the mile-long stretch and the contractor has asked for the deadline to be extended until the end of July – said SG spokeswoman Lieutenant Anna Michalska last Saturday. Electronic security, a system of cameras and detectors, should also be ready by the fall.
At the end of June, the provisions on a temporary residence ban in 183 towns near the border with Belarus in the Podlaskie and Lubelskie Voivodeships will no longer apply; they were introduced in connection with the migration crisis, then they were also explained by the need to ensure order and security in connection with the construction of a dam. They entered into force on March 2, extending the previous one, which was in effect from December 1, 2021 to March 1, 2022.
From July 1 to September 15, Podlaskie is prohibited from approaching the Polish-Belarusian border within 200 meters, issued by the voivode. The request for its introduction was made by the commander of the Podlasie Border Guard Unit; the ban applies to the entire Podlaskie Voivodeship, with the exception of parts of the border that run along border rivers.
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wkt / dw.com / PAP / TT