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'Double standards': Poland criticised as steel wall along border with Belarus is completed

The controversial steel wall that straddles the border of Poland and Belarus has been built.

It is 5.5m (18ft high) and was built to stop asylum seekers fleeing poverty and conflict in the Middle East and Africa.

Human rights activists have accused Poland of violating human rights, given that the country has received millions of mostly white Christian refugees from Ukraine.

Natalia Gebert is the founder of a Polish organization that assists refugees. You could be sentenced to eight years in prison if you do it at the Belarus border.


Eyewitness Stark Difference in Eastern Europe’s Welcome to Syrian and Ukrainian Refugees

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki asserts that the wall is essential in deterring Russian aggression.

Journalists and human rights workers have been prevented from crossing the border due to a state of emergency. Estimates suggest that at least 20 migrants died in the region’s frozen forests and bogs.

Belarus: More

One refugee, who crossed in the EU, said that violence and sub-zero temperatures were common in the vast swamps.

Ali, the man who was only identified as Ali, told the AP news agency that there were nights when he went to bed on the ground in the woods thinking he would never wake up again.

Ali fled Syria after his business was overthrown by Sunni extremists. He claims that six times, Polish guards drove him back to the border. Belarusian guards beat him and stole his money, forcing him to remove his clothes in winter.

He claimed that he was forced onto the ground and screamed at. He was also kicked in the chest repeatedly, hit with a kick, and approached by an aggressive dog.

Continue reading: What caused the migrant crisis on the Belarus-Poland border

“Don’t come…it’s bad here”: Remorse messages from safety-seekers

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November 2021: Aerials demonstrate the scale of the Poland-Belarus border crises

The steel wall runs along the border of Poland and Belarus for 115 miles (186km). Electronic surveillance systems have yet to be installed.

Human Rights Watch reports that Poland “unlawfully and sometimes violently” pushes asylum seekers and migrants back to Belarus. There they are subject to serious abuses including beatings by border guards or rape by security forces.

Ali spent 16 days in the forest and three months in various Polish detention centers, where he was only identified by his identification number.

He claimed that he was made to show his nakedness in public each time he was taken to another camp by guards with stun guns and batons.

He was instructed to travel to Germany in March. By April, he had arrived at Berlin.

Ali stated, “I feel better here. I am still called by my name. However, I worry that the Germans might send me back home to Poland.

It is considered less risky to enter the EU via Poland than crossing the Mediterranean Sea.

After President Alexander Lukashenko encouraged would-be asylum seekers from the Middle East and Africa, Belarus became a more popular migration route to the EU.

EU leaders accused Lukashenko, a retaliator after sanctions were imposed by the trading bloc, of using dissidents to attack his regime.


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