World

Migrants remain trapped at Belarus-Poland border in freezing weather

Groups of migrants, including children, attempt to enter Poland from time to time

Ali Cura   | 18.11.2021
Migrants remain trapped at Belarus-Poland border in freezing weather

MINSK, Belarus 

Thousands of migrants continue to wait in the freezing cold at camps they set up on the border between Belarus and Poland in the hope of crossing into the EU. 

Along the border just west of the Belarusian city of Grodno, migrants who came with visas from Iraq languish in the camps and logistics centers at the border crossing point.

Some of the migrant groups, which include women and children, make attempts to enter Polish territory from time to time.

According to the Belarusian State Border Committee, Lithuanian border guards made a brutal attempt early Wednesday to push Iraqi citizens back into Belarusian territory in the Klevitsa border area.

Footage shows the border guards severely beating a migrant lying on the ground and then setting a dog on him. The dog bit his leg and started tearing apart his sleeping bag, the committee added.

According to the European Union, Belarus reaches out to potential travelers through seemingly official channels, including diplomatic missions and travel agencies, and invites them to Belarus by offering visas. They are then allegedly guided to the EU border.

NATO and the EU consider Belarus’ approach towards migrants a hybrid attack meant to destabilize and undermine security in European countries through non-military means.

The EU countries bordering Belarus – Lithuania, Latvia and Poland – have reported a dramatically growing number of irregular crossings since August.

Over 8,000 people have tried to enter the bloc via the Belarus-EU border so far this year, up sharply from just 150 last year.

At least 2,000 people, including women and children, have been stuck in the Belarusian-Polish border area in dire conditions over the last week.​​​​​​​

*Writing by Seda Sevencan in Istanbul

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