Human rights situation on Poland-Belarus border alarming: senior official – Brussels News

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In a press release issued on the finish of her 4-day go to to Poland, Mijatovic known as on the Polish authorities to permit media and humanitarian help organizations to entry the border to finish human struggling and violations of human rights.

Since August, hundreds of migrants, most of them from conflict-torn nations within the Middle East, have been stranded on the border between Belarus and its neighbours, looking for to enter the European Union (EU) territory. Clashes broke out final week between Polish troopers utilizing water cannons and migrants throwing stones.

The ban on entry to areas adjoining to the border, coated by Poland’s state of emergency, has “harmful consequences,” the Commissioner mentioned, including that it prevented worldwide organisations and civil society from offering very important humanitarian help and finishing up essential monitoring and human rights work.

Denying entry to the media undermines freedom of expression and knowledge and limits a lot-wanted transparency and accountability, fueling disinformation and reinforcing the sentiment of insecurity, she added.

“Journalists should be allowed to report from all areas along the border, freely and

safely,” the Commissioner mentioned.

Poland’s present laws, which permits for quick returns to the border of individuals who entered the territory outdoors of official border crossings, undermines the fitting to hunt asylum and “must be amended,” she added.

“I have personally listened to the appalling accounts of extreme suffering from desperate people — among whom many families, children and elderly — who spent weeks or even months in squalid and extreme conditions in the cold and wet woods due to these pushbacks,” Mijatovic mentioned.

“I have witnessed clear signs of their painful ordeal: wounds, frostbite, exposure to extreme cold, exhaustion and stress,” she added.

“One woman was fighting for her life in a local hospital. Several people lost their lives. I have no doubt that returning any of these people to the border will lead to more extreme human suffering and more deaths. Every night and every hour spent in the borderland means real danger to their lives,” she mentioned.

The Commissioner careworn that coping with the present situation mustn’t simply fall on Poland alone. “This is a European issue, which requires a human rights-centered response based on solidarity and European values and standards.”

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