Tag archieven: In English

The Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories are illegal under International Law/Why?

Image result for settlements/Images

THE BITTER FRUITS OF THE ISRAELI OCCUPATION OF

THE PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES: THE ISRAELI SETTLEMENTS

THE ISRAELI SETTLEMENTS IN THE OCCUPIED PALESTINIAN

TERRITORIES ARE ILLEGAL UNDER INTERNATIONAL LAW/WHY?

The Israeli settlements in occupied the Palestinian territories

are illegal under International Law, based on

article 49, 4th Geneva Convention and the Hague Convention of

1907

READ FURTHER

A

WHAT SAYS THE INTERNATIONAL RED CROSS?

ICRC.ORG

WHAT SAYS THE LAW ABOUT THE ESTABLISHMENT OF

SETTLEMENTS IN OCCUPIED TERRITORY?

https://www.icrc.org/en/doc/resources/documents/faq/occupation-faq-051010.htm

05-10-2010 FAQ

When a territory is placed under the authority of a hostile army, the rules of international humanitarian law dealing with occupation apply. Occupation confers certain rights and obligations on the occupying power.

Prohibited actions include forcibly transferring protected persons from the occupied territories to the territory of the occupying power. 
It is unlawful under the Fourth Geneva Convention for an occupying power to transfer parts of its own population into the territory it occupies. This means that international humanitarian law prohibits the establishment of settlements, as these are a form of population transfer into occupied territory. Any measure designed to expand or consolidate settlements is also illegal. Confiscation of land to build or expand settlements is similarly prohibited. 

B

WHAT SAYS THE ISRAELI HUMAN RIGHTS ORGANISATION

BTSELEM?

BTSELEM.ORG

”The establishment of the settlements contravenes international humanitarian law (IHL), which states that an occupying power may not relocate its own citizens to the occupied territory or make permanent changes to that territory, unless these are needed for imperative military needs, in the narrow sense of the term, or undertaken for the benefit of the local population.”

BTSELEM.ORG

SETTLEMENTS

https://www.btselem.org/settlements

C

The illegality of the Israeli settlements is based on article 49, Fourth Geneva Convention and on the Hague Convention of 1907

THE FOURTH GENEVA CONVENTION, ARTICLE 49

”Individual or mass forcible transfers, as well as deportations of protected persons from occupied territory to the territory of the Occupying Power or to that of any other country, occupied or not, are prohibited, regardless of their motive.”

ARTICLE 49, FOURTH GENEVA CONVENTION

https://ihl-databases.icrc.org/en/ihl-treaties/gciv-1949/article-49

D

THE HAGUE CONVENTION OF 1907, ARTICLE 55

Art. 55. The occupying State shall be regarded only as administrator and usufructuary of public buildings, real estate, forests, and agricultural estates belonging to the hostile State, and situated in the occupied country. It must safeguard the capital of these properties, and administer them in accordance with the rules of usufruct.  

CONVENTION RESPECTING THE LAWS AND CUSTOMS OF WARON LAND AND ITS ANNEX: REGULATIONS CONCERNINGTHE LAWS AND CUSTOMS OF WAR ON LAND

THE HAGUE 18 OCTOBER 1907

https://ihl-databases.icrc.org/en/ihl-treaties/hague-conv-iv-1907/regulations-art-55

E

WHAT SAYS AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL?

Israel’s policy of settling its civilians in occupied Palestinian territory and displacing the local population contravenes fundamental rules of international humanitarian law.

Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention states: “The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.” It also prohibits the “individual or mass forcible transfers, as well as deportations of protected persons from occupied territory”. 

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL

CHAPTER 3

ISRAELI SETTLEMENTS AND INTERNATIONAL LAW

The situation in the OPT is primarily governed by two international legal regimes: international humanitarian law (including the rules of the law of occupation) and international human rights law. International criminal law is also relevant as some serious violations may constitute war crimes.

STATUS OF SETTLEMENTS UNDER INTERNATIONAL LAW

Israel’s policy of settling its civilians in occupied Palestinian territory and displacing the local population contravenes fundamental rules of international humanitarian law.

Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention states: “The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.” It also prohibits the “individual or mass forcible transfers, as well as deportations of protected persons from occupied territory”. 

The extensive appropriation of land and the appropriation and destruction of property required to build and expand settlements also breach other rules of international humanitarian law. Under the Hague Regulations of 1907, the public property of the occupied population (such as lands, forests and agricultural estates) is subject to the laws of usufruct. This means that an occupying state is only allowed a very limited use of this property. This limitation is derived from the notion that occupation is temporary, the core idea of the law of occupation. In the words of the International Committee of the Red Cross, the occupying power “has a duty to ensure the protection, security, and welfare of the people living under occupation and to guarantee that they can live as normal a life as possible, in accordance with their own laws, culture, and traditions.”

The Hague Regulations prohibit the confiscation of private property. The Fourth Geneva Convention prohibits the destruction of private or state property, “except where such destruction is rendered absolutely necessary by military operations”.

As the occupier, Israel is therefore forbidden from using state land and natural resources for purposes other than military or security needs or for the benefit of the local population. The unlawful appropriation of property by an occupying power amounts to “pillage”, which is prohibited by both the Hague Regulations and Fourth Geneva Convention and is a war crime under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and many national laws.

Israel’s building of settlements in the West Bank, including in East Jerusalem, does not respect any of these rules and exceptions. Transferring the occupying power’s civilians into the occupied territory is prohibited without exception. Furthermore, as explained earlier, the settlements and associated infrastructure are not temporary, do not benefit Palestinians and do not serve the legitimate security needs of the occupying power. Settlements entirely depend on the large-scale appropriation and/or destruction of Palestinian private and state property which are not militarily necessary. They are created with the sole purpose of permanently establishing Jewish Israelis on occupied land.

In addition to being violations of international humanitarian law, key acts required for the establishment of settlements amount to war crimes under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. Under this body of law, the “extensive destruction and appropriation of property not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly” and the “transfer, directly or indirectly, by the Occupying Power of parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies, or the deportation or transfer of all or parts of the population of the occupied territory within or outside this territory” constitute war crimes. As stated above, “pillage” is also a war crime under the Rome Statute.

Israel’s settlement policy also violates a special category of obligations entitled peremptory norms of international law (jus cogens) from which no derogation is permitted. The International Court of Justice (ICJ) affirmed that the rules of the Geneva Conventions constitute “intransgressible principles of international customary law”. Only a limited number of international norms acquire this status, which is a reflection of the seriousness and importance with which the international community views them. Breaches of these norms give rise to certain obligations on all other states, or “third states”, which are explained below.

SETTLEMENTS, DISCRIMINATION AND HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS

States have a duty to respect, protect and fulfil the human rights of people under their jurisdiction, including people living in territory that is outside national borders but under the effective control of the state. The ICJ confirmed that Israel is obliged to extend the application of the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights, the International Convention on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and other treaties to which it is a state party to people in the OPT. Israel is a state party to numerous international human rights treaties and, as the occupying power, it has well defined obligations to respect, protect and fulfil the human rights of Palestinians. 

However, as has been well documented for many years by the UN, Amnesty International and other NGOs, Israel’s settlement policy is one of the main driving forces behind the mass human rights violations resulting from the occupation. These include:

Violations of the right to life: Israeli soldiers, police and security guards have unlawfully killed and injured many Palestinian civilians in the OPT, including during protests against the confiscation of land and the construction of settlements. UN agencies and fact-finding missions have also expressed concern about violence perpetrated by a minority of Israeli settlers aimed at intimidating Palestinian populations.

Violations of the rights to liberty, security of the person and equal treatment before the law: Amnesty International has documented how Palestinians in the OPT are routinely subjected to arbitrary detention, including through administrative detention. Whereas settlers are subject to Israeli civil and criminal law, Palestinians are subject to a military court system which falls short of international standards for the fair  conduct of trials and administration of justice.

Violations of the right to access an effective remedy for acts violating fundamental rights: Israel’s failure to adequately investigate and enforce the law for acts of violence against Palestinians, together with the multiple legal, financial and procedural barriers faced by Palestinians in accessing the court system, severely limit Palestinians’ ability to seek legal redress. The Israeli High Court of Justice has failed to rule on the legality of settlements, as it considered the settlements to be a political issue that that it is not competent to hear.

Violations of the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly: Amnesty International has documented Israel’s use of military orders to prohibit peaceful protest and criminalize freedom of expression in the West Bank. Israeli forces have used tear gas, rubber bullets and occasionally live rounds to suppress peaceful protests.

Violations of the rights to equality and non-discrimination: Systematic discrimination against Palestinians is inherent in virtually all aspects of Israel’s administration of the OPT. Palestinians are also specifically targeted for a range of actions that constitute human rights violations. The Israeli government allows settlers to exploit land and natural resources that belong to Palestinians. Israel provides preferential treatment to Israeli businesses operating in the OPT while putting up barriers to, or simply blocking, Palestinian ones. Israeli citizens receive entitlements and Palestinians face restrictions on the grounds of nationality, ethnicity and religion, in contravention of international standards.

The Israeli authorities have created a discriminatory urban planning and zoning system. Within Area C, where most settlement construction is based, Israel has allocated 70% of the land to settlements and only 1% to Palestinians. In East Jerusalem, Israel has expropriated 35% of the city for the construction of settlements, while restricting Palestinians to construct on only 13% of the land. These figures clearly illustrate Israel’s use of regulatory measures to discriminate against Palestinian residents in Area C.

The UN has also pointed to discrimination against Palestinians in the way in which the criminal law is enforced. While prosecution rates for settler attacks against Palestinians are low, suggesting a lack of enforcement, most cases of violence against Israeli settlers are investigated and proceed to court.

Violations of the right to adequate housing: Since 1967, Israel has constructed tens of thousands of homes on Palestinian land to accommodate settlers while, at the same time, demolishing an estimated 50,000 Palestinian homes and other structures, such as farm buildings and water tanks. Israel also carries out demolitions as a form of collective punishment against the families of individuals accused of attacks on Israelis. In East Jerusalem, about 800 houses have been demolished since 2004 for lack of permits. Israel also confiscates houses inhabited by Palestinians in the city to allocate them to settlers. By forcibly evicting and/or demolishing their homes without providing adequate alternative accommodation, Israel has failed in its duty to respect the right to adequate housing of thousands of Palestinians.

Violations of the right to freedom of movement: Many restrictions on freedom of movement for Palestinian residents are directly linked to the settlements, including restrictions aimed at protecting the settlements and maintaining “buffer zones”. Restrictions include checkpoints, settler-only roads and physical impediments created by walls and gates. 

Violations of the rights of the child: Every year, 500-700 Palestinian children from the occupied West Bank are prosecuted in Israeli juvenile military courts under Israeli military orders. They are often arrested in night raids and systematically ill-treated. Some of these children serve their sentences within Israel, in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention. The UN has also documented that many children have been killed or injured in settler attacks.

Violations of the right to enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health: Restrictions on movement limit Palestinians’ access to health care. Specialists working with Palestinian populations have also documented a range of serious mental health conditions that stem from exposure to violence and abuse in the OPT.

Violations of the right to water: Most Palestinian communities in Area C are not connected to the water network and are prevented from repairing or constructing wells or water cisterns that hold rainwater. Water consumption in some Area C communities is reported by the UN to be 20% of the minimum recommended standard. Israel’s failure to ensure Palestinian residents have a sufficient supply of clean, safe water for drinking and other domestic uses constitutes a violation of its obligations to respect and fulfil the right to water. 

Violations of the right to education: Palestinian students face numerous obstacles in accessing education, including forced displacement, demolitions, restrictions on movement and a shortage of school places. An independent fact-finding mission in 2012 noted an “upward trend” of cases of settler attacks on Palestinian schools and harassment of Palestinian children on their way to and from school. Such problems can result in children not attending school and in a deterioration in the quality of learning. 

Violations of the right to earn a decent living through work: The expansion of settlements has reduced the amount of land available to Palestinians for herding and agriculture, increasing the dependency of rural communities on humanitarian assistance. Settler violence and the destruction of Palestinian-owned crops and olive trees have damaged the livelihoods of farmers. The UN has reported that in Hebron city centre, the Israeli military has forced 512 Palestinian businesses to close, while more than 1,000 others have shut down due to restricted access for customers and suppliers.

SUSTAINED INTERNATIONAL CONDEMNATION

Most states and international bodies have long recognized that Israeli settlements are illegal under international law. The European Union (EU) has clearly stated that: “settlement building anywhere in the occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, is illegal under international law, constitutes an obstacle to peace and threatens to make a two-state solution impossible.”

The settlements have been condemned as illegal in many UN Security Council and other UN resolutions. As early as 1980, UN Security Council Resolution 465 called on Israel “to dismantle the existing settlements and, in particular, to cease, on an urgent basis, the establishment, construction and planning of settlements in the Arab territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem.” The International Committee of the Red Cross and the Conference of High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention have reaffirmed that settlements violate international humanitarian law. The illegality of the settlements was recently reaffirmed by UN Security Council Resolution 2334, passed inDecember 2016, which reiterates the Security Council’s call on Israel to cease all settlement activities in the OPT. The serious human rights violations that stem from Israeli settlements have also been repeatedly raised and condemned by international bodies and experts.

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Opgeslagen onder Divers

Christmas Message 2022/2012-2022/Ten Years wandering through Amsterdam/Ten years refugee victims of a sadistic Dutch Government!

Kerststal Kerststal — Stockvector

EVICTION OF REJECTED REFUGEES FROM PLACE TO PLACE

CHRISTMAS MESSAGE 2022/TEN YEARS WANDERING THROUGH AMSTERDAM/TEN YEARS REFUGEE VICTIMS OF THE SADISTIC DUTCH GOVERNMENT

A Poor Couple on their way to their PLace of Birth, on the orders of a foreign occupier, who wants to registrate the occupied people.

So is nthe World.

Rulers want to have, they NEED control on everything and everyone.

It is a journey full of hardships, the Wife is pregnant and travels

on the only way poor people can, when they are not walking:

On a Donkey.

And of course she can not walk, for she is full of

Child and the Birth can happen anytime.

When they arrive in their PLace of Birth, there is nowhere a shelter

or Place and the Mother is obliged to deliver her Child in a sort

of Cave, facilitated by a compassionate innkeeper

The Couple gets a warm welcome, not by the authorities,

who don’t care about poor people [just as in our Times],

but by common people.

Like shepherds and local residents.

But also by three Wise Men, who were intrigued by a

miraculous natural phenomenon……

But Hardship is not the end of their Trouble, for the Couple has

to flee, because the occupiers puppet king wants to kill

the newborn child, since a prediction says, that a child, born in

that city, will overshadow the king, when it grows up.

They flee to Egypt, where they can take shelter until

the Danger is over.

Glad for them, that they lived two thousand years ago:

For in this Time, they were, fleeing from Asia [where their

country is situated] stopped at some Wall or deported again [1]

especially when they had the nerves to go to Europe……

2012-2022

That’s what happened in  Christmas Night.

It’s all about persecution, exclusion, discrimination.

That’s NOT something from the past

IT HAPPENS NOW!

Because I know a Group of Refugees, who are hunted down

for ten years by a cruel Dutch government, that throws her responsibility from government to municipality, etc

No one to blame?

THEY ARE ALL TO BLAME, ALL SEGMENTS OF

THE DUTCH STATE!

It concerns the Refugee from the ”WE are Here Group”, originally

coming from asylum refugee Centre Ter Apel [2] to the city

of Amsterdam, because they couldn’t be deported [their asylum had

been rejected] to their country of origin, but were not permitted to remain in the Netherlands either. [3]

Is that not sadistic?

Like throwing people in purgatory! [4]

Yes, there is a socalled ”No Fault Criterium”, implying, that when

refugees can’t possibly return to their country, after tried their

stinking best to leave [for departure is entirely the responsibility of

rejected refugees], that they can get a permit to stay in the Netherlands [5, text alas in Dutch].

But in practice the criteria are that strict, that no one can meet

them……..

This also implies also this Group, composed of people,

coming from all sort of war and conflict countries [6] [which makes that they can’t be deported and also the fact, that their country of origin refuses to give travel documents to return to the country]

WANDERING FROM PLACE TO PLACE

So what’s their Fate?

Wandering from place to place, from squatter centre to squatter centre, mostly helped by leftist radical quatter activists, but

also organizing their own group, their own resistance [7]

With no help whatsoever from the municipality Amsterdam, 

only evictions from their poor shelterings, making them homeless…

[8]

It;s a shame

Those people are totally without rights

As undocumented refugees they have only right to an advocate and

medical service in case of an emergency

That’s NOT the way you deal with people

People have the right to flee, the right on elementary

necessities of life, the right on a warm Shelter, the right on

enough food to live, the right to build a decent life

I AM FURIOUS BECAUSE OF THIS AND MORE THAN ONCE I CONFRONTED THE DUTCH AMSTERDAM MUNICIPALITY 

GOVERNMENT WITH THIS! [9]

CHRISTMAS 2022

Long ago a Poor Couple was rejected and excluded

After 2022 years, on and on refugees are rejected,

as the We are here Group

We, people who seek Justice, will not stand by and let it pass

WE WILL RESIST

You join me?

I know you will

BLESSED AND HAPPY CHRISTMAS DAYS AND

A GOOD, HAPPY AND PROSPOROUS 2023!

ASTRID ESSED

NOTES

NOTES T T/M 9

Reacties uitgeschakeld voor Christmas Message 2022/2012-2022/Ten Years wandering through Amsterdam/Ten years refugee victims of a sadistic Dutch Government!

Opgeslagen onder Divers

Encyclopaedia Britannica versus Astrid Essed about the superior claim of the House of York on the English throne/Encyclopaedia Britannica corrects a mistake [2015]

HISTORICAL FICTION

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_II_(film)

Richard II King of England.jpg

HISTORICAL IMAGE

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_II_of_England

KING RICHARD II, [SON OF THE BLACK PRINCE, THE FIRST

SON OF KING EDWARD III AND THEREFORE SUCCESSOR

OF KING EDWARD III], WHO DECLARED ROGER MORTIMER

HIS HEIR PRESUMPTIVE.

ROGER MORTIMER WAS THE SON OF RICHARD II’S FIRST

COUSIN PHILIPPA,

THE DAUGHTER OF THE SECOND SON OF KING EDWARD III,

LIONEL OF ANTWERP

AND THEREFORE NEXT IN LINE TO THE SUCCESSION TO

THE THRONE, AS LONG AS RICHARD II WAS CHILDLESS.

ROGER MORTIMER HAD TWO CHILDREN, EDMUND, 4TH EARL OF

MARCH AND ANNE MORTIMER, WHO MARRIED RICHARD CONISBURGH,

SON OF EDMUND OF LANGLEY, DUKE OF YORK [FOURTH SON

OF EDWARD III]

AFTER HIS DEATH, ROGER MORTIMER PASSED HIS HEIR

PRESUMPTIVE RIGHT TO HIS SON EDMUND, 5TH EARL

OF MARCH, WHO PASSED THIS RIGHT TO HIS NEPHEW

RICHARD, DUKE OF YORK,  SON OF HIS SISTER

ANNE MORTIMER.

WHEN RICHARD II WAS USURPED BY HIS COUSIN

HENRY BOLINGBROKE [LATER KING HENRY IV, SON OF JOHN

OF GAUNT, THE THIRD SON OF KING EDWARD III AND

THEREFORE WITH A LESSER RIGHT TO THE THRONE

THAN EDMUND MORTIMER],

EDMUND, THE SON OF THE LATE ROGER MORTIMER,

BEING THE RIGHTFUL SUCCESSOR, WAS OVERLOOKED.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_III_of_England

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lionel_of_Antwerp,_1st_Duke_of_Clarence

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philippa,_5th_Countess_of_Ulster

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roger_Mortimer,_4th_Earl_of_March

ROGER MORTIMER’S SON AND DAUGHTER, EDMUND AND

ANNE MORTIMER

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edmund_Mortimer,_5th_Earl_of_March

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anne_de_Mortimer

ANNE MORTIMER’S SON, RICHARD, DUKE OF YORK,

GRANDSON [FROM HIS MOTHER’S SIDE]

OF ROGER MORTIMER

HIS CLAIM TO THE THRONE WAS BASED ON HIS

MATERNAL SIDE AND SUPERIOR TO THE LANCASTERS,

WHO DESCENDED FROM THE THIRD SON OF EDWARD III,

WHILE RICHARD DESCENDED FROM THE SECOND SON

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_of_York,_3rd_Duke_of_York

King Henry IV from NPG (2).jpg

KING HENRY IV, WHO USURPED THE THRONE OF RICHARD II AS

HENRY BOLINGBROKE, HIS COUSIN

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_IV_of_England

File:Richard Plantagenet, 3rd Duke of York.jpg

RICHARD OF YORK, CLAIMANT TO THE ENGLISH THRONE

AND ONE OF THE MAIN LEADERS OF THE WAR OF ROSES

[WAR BETWEEN THE HOUSES OF LANCASTER AND YORK,

BOTH DESCENDANTS OF KING EDWARD III]

[HISTORICAL IMAGE]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_of_York,_3rd_Duke_of_York

King Henry V from NPG.jpg

KING HENRY V, SON OF KING HENRY IV

[HISTORICAL IMAGE]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_V_of_England

KING HENRY VI OF ENGLAND, SON OF KING HENRY V

[HISTORICAL IMAGE]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_VI_of_England

MARGARET OF ANJOU, QUEEN OF ENGLAND

[HISTORICAL IMAGE]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Margaret_of_Anjou

ENCYCLOPAEDIA BRITANNICA VERSUS ASTRID ESSED ABOUT

THE SUPERIOR CLAIM OF THE HOUSE OF YORK ON THE THRONE/

ENCYCLOPAEDIA BRITANNICA CORRECTS A TEXT

WARS OF THE ROSES/ENCYCLOPAEDIA BRITANNICA CORRECTS A TEXT

AND CHANGES ”USURPATION” IN ”OVERTHROWING” AFTER THE

ASTRID ESSED COMMENTS IN 2015!

READERS!

This you’ll love!

Encyclopaedia Britannica corrected a historical fault they made, due to some

comments from your author, Astrid Essed!

However:

Although they changed it, it would have been nice if they

had mentioned me. Astrid Essed as the person who pointed them on this fact…. 

READ!

As you know, I’ve written a number of articles and comments [and posted

from other authors] about the Wars of the Roses

https://www.astridessed.nl/?s=Wars+of+the+Roses

And writing those articles, I stumbled on Encyclopaedia Britannica, where

originally was written the following about a decisive episode

during the Wars of the Roses, that [in]famous Fight for the English throne

between the two Plantagenet branches of the Royal House,

the Lancasters and the Yorks.

Encyclopaedia Britannica wrote the following:

””House of York, younger branch of the house of Plantagenet<http://www.britann ica.com/EBchecked/topic/ 463365/house-of-Plantagenet> of England<http://www.britannica. com/EBchecked/topic/700965/Eng land>. In the 15th century, having usurped the throne from the house of Lancaster<http://www.britannic a.com/EBchecked/topic/328992/ house-of-Lancaster>, it provided three kings of England—Edward IV, Edward V<http://www.britannica.com/EB checked/topic/179763/Edward-V> , and Richard III—and, in turn defeated, passed on its claims to the Tudor dynasty.”

LETTER TO THE ENCYCLOPAEDIA BRITANNICA

In a Letter to the Encyclopaedia Britannica I made clear,

that the term ”usurpation” was wrong, since usurpation

means ””illegal seizure and occupation of a throne.” and it was no usurpation, since a long history preceded it and actually the House of

York, that took over the royal Power in 1461 after the

Battle of Towton, had a stronger claim 

than the House of Lancaster on the English throne,

descending from Lionel

of Antwerp, the second son of king Edward III, in the female

line, while

the Lancasters descended from John of Gaunt,

the third som of king Edward III, in the male line.

 I wrote about that to Encyclopaedia Britannica

”Although you call the overthrowing of the Act

of Accord an usurpation, to my opinion it is no

usurpation at all, since the Lancasters should not have to

be kings all along, due to the superior claim to the throne

of York, as the Lancaster usurpation of King Richard II.”

SEE FOR THE WHOLE LETTER IN WHICH I 

EMPHASIZED THE RIGHT OF FEMALES ON THE ENGLISH THRONE

[THE HOUSE OF YOURK HAD A SUPERIOR

RIGHT ON THE THRONE THROUGH FEMALE DESCENT] ON THE

THRONE]

https://www.astridessed.nl/the-wars-of-the-roseslancaster-and-yorkusurpation-and-the-right-to-the-throne-by-femalesletter-to-encyclopaedia-britannica/ENCYCLOPAEDIA BRITANNICA ACKNOWLEDGED THEIRFAULT AND CHANGED TEXT FROM ”USURPATION”TO ”OVERTHROWING”!
And you know what!The Encyclopaedia Britannica acknowlegded theirfault and…..changed their textHere was their reaction on my Letter:

On Thursday, March 12, 2015 1:15 PM, ukcustomerservice <ukcustomerservice@britannica. co.uk> wrote:

Dear Astrid Essed,

Thank you for your e-mail.

Please see below the feedback from the Editorial Team regarding the feedback that you have given.

OK, we’ve made a couple of small changes to this article, based on the reader’s message. Here’s the description of the revision in the article history (http://www.britannica.com/top ic/653692/history):

“Changing ‘usurped’ to ‘overthrown’ to acknowledge the contention of the legitimacy of the York claim based on the ‘Mortimer Claim.’ Also mentioned the 14th century practice among the nobility of privileging heir-male claims over heir-general claims.”

House of York, younger branch of the house of Plantagenet of England. In the 15th century, having overthrown the house of Lancaster, it provided three kings of England—Edward IVEdward V, and Richard III—and, in turn defeated, passed on its claims to the Tudor dynasty.”

The revised article can be seen at http://www.britannica.com/E Bchecked/topic/653692/house-of -York.

Kind regards

Britannica Customer Service

If you can include any previous message history in your reply it will speed up the time it takes to reply.

We hope that this is of some help to you.  If you require further assistance with this, please do not hesitate to contact us on 0800 282433 or +44 207 500 7843 for customers outside the UK.

Encyclopædia Britannica (UK) Ltd
Registered in England and Wales: Number 3830890”

THAT WAS THEIR REACTION!

You can understand I was a little proud on that and see the

text about the House of York you can read now!

SEE TEXT ENCYCLOPAEDIA BRITANNICA UNDER NOTE 1

[NOTE 1, A]

And as an extra Source, under Note 1, my whole Correspondence with the Encyclopaedia Britannica

[B]

ENJOY!

ASTRID ESSED

A

NOTE 1

ENCYCLOPAEDIA BRITANNICA

HOUSE OF YORK

https://www.britannica.com/topic/house-of-York

house of York, younger branch of the house of Plantagenet of England. In the 15th century, having overthrown the house of Lancaster, it provided three kings of England—Edward IVEdward V, and Richard III—and, in turn defeated, passed on its claims to the Tudor dynasty.

The house was founded by King Edward III’s fifth son, Edmund of Langley (1341–1402), 1st Duke of York, but Edmund and his own son, Edward, 2nd Duke of York, had for the most part undistinguished careers. Edward, dying childless, passed on the dukedom to his nephew Richard (whose mother was a descendant of Edward III’s second surviving son, Lionel, Duke of Clarence). Richard, 3rd Duke of York (1411–60), was the initial Yorkist claimant to the crown, in opposition to the Lancastrian Henry VI. It may be said that his claim, when it was advanced, was rightly barred by prescription, the house of Lancaster having then occupied the throne for three generations, and that it was really owing to the misgovernment of Queen Margaret of Anjou and her favourites that it was advanced at all. Yet it was founded upon strict principles of lineal descent, for the 3rd Duke of York was descended from Lionel, Duke of Clarence, the second surviving son of Edward III, whereas the house of Lancaster came of John of Gaunt, a younger brother of Lionel. One thing that might possibly have been considered an element of weakness in Richard’s claim was that it was derived through females—an objection actually brought against it by Chief Justice John Fortescue (probably a reflection of the increasingly common practice among the English nobility of passing on their estates to a male heir). But apart from strict legality, Richard’s claim was probably supported in the popular view by the fact that he was descended from Edward III through his father no less than through his mother.

After seeking for many years to correct the weakness of Henry VI’s government, Richard first took up arms and at length claimed the crown in Parliament as his right. The Lords, or those who did not purposely stay away from the House, admitted that his claim was unimpeachable but suggested as a compromise that Henry should retain the crown for life and that Richard and his heirs succeed after his death. This was accepted by Richard, and an act to that effect received Henry’s own assent. But the act was repudiated by Margaret of Anjou and her followers, and Richard was slain at Wakefield fighting against them. In little more than two months, however, his son was proclaimed king at London by the title of

Edward IV, and the bloody victory in the Battle of Towton immediately after drove his enemies into exile and paved the way for his coronation.

After his recovery of the throne in 1471, Edward IV had little more to fear from the rivalry of the house of Lancaster. But the seeds of distrust had already been sown among the members of his own family, and in 1478 his brother Clarence was put to death—secretly, indeed, within the Tower of London, but still by his authority and that of Parliament—as a traitor. In 1483 Edward himself died; and his eldest son, Edward V, after a nominal reign of two months and a half, was put aside by his uncle, the Duke of Gloucester, who became Richard III, and then, it is said, caused him and his brother Richard, Duke of York, to be murdered. But in little more than two years Richard was slain at Bosworth Field by the Tudor Earl of Richmond, who, being proclaimed king as Henry VII, shortly afterwards fulfilled his pledge to marry the eldest daughter of Edward IV and so unite the houses of York and Lancaster.

Here the dynastic history of the house of York ends, for its claims were henceforth merged in those of the house of Tudor.

This article was most recently revised and updated by Jeff Wallenfeldt.
END OF NOTE 1

B

MY CORRESPONDENCE IN EMAIL WITH THE ENCYCLOPAEDIA BRITANNICA

ADDED

MY LAST REACTION ABOUT THE CHANGES OF ENCYCLOPAEDIA 

BRITANNICA

THE WARS OF THE ROSES/THE HOUSE OF YORK/

REACTION ON ENCYCLOPAEDIA BRITANNICA’S CHANGES IN

THEIR ARTICLE AFTER MY COMMENTS

ASTRID ESSED

13 MARCH 2015

NOW:

CORRESPONDENCE WITH ENCYCLOPAEDIA BRITANNICA ON

EMAILOn Thursday, March 12, 2015 1:15 PM, ukcustomerservice <ukcustomerservice@britannica. co.uk> wrote:

Dear Astrid Essed,

Thank you for your e-mail.

Please see below the feedback from the Editorial Team regarding the feedback that you have given.

OK, we’ve made a couple of small changes to this article, based on the reader’s message. Here’s the description of the revision in the article history (http://www.britannica.com/top ic/653692/history):

“Changing ‘usurped’ to ‘overthrown’ to acknowledge the contention of the legitimacy of the York claim based on the ‘Mortimer Claim.’ Also mentioned the 14th century practice among the nobility of privileging heir-male claims over heir-general claims.”

House of York, younger branch of the house of Plantagenet of England. In the 15th century, having overthrown the house of Lancaster, it provided three kings of England—Edward IVEdward V, and Richard III—and, in turn defeated, passed on its claims to the Tudor dynasty.”

The revised article can be seen at http://www.britannica.com/E Bchecked/topic/653692/house-of -York.

Kind regards

Britannica Customer Service

If you can include any previous message history in your reply it will speed up the time it takes to reply.

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______________________________ __
From: Astrid Essed [astridessed@yahoo.com]
Sent: 25 February 2015 04:38
To: ukcustomerservice
Subject: Re: (ESSED, Astrid) Britannica [AM]

TO BRITANNICA CUSTOMER SERVICE

Dear Sir/Madam,

You’re welcome.
I passed this feedback to you with great pleasure.
Thanks very much for your reaction and the trouble you
have taken to pass my feedback to your
Editorial Team.

To make things easier I send you the letter to Encyclopaedia
Britannica as posted on my website, as a later comment
on the same subject

See

THE WARS OF THE ROSES/LANCASTER AND YORK/
USURPATION AND THE RIGHT TO THE THRONE BY
FEMALES/LETTER TO ENCYCLOPAEDIA BRITANNICA

http://www.astridessed.nl/the- wars-of-the-roseslancaster-and -yorkusurpation-and-the-right- to-the-throne-by-femalesletter -to-encyclopaedia-britannica/

Later comment:

THE WARS OF THE ROSES/LANCASTER AND YORK/
USURPATION AND THE RIGHT TO THE THRONE THROUGH
FEMALES

http://www.astridessed.nl/the- wars-of-the-roseslancaster-and -yorkusurpation-and-the-right- to-the-throne-through-females- 2/

See also the page ”Wars of Roses” on my website

http://www.astridessed.nl/?s=W ars+of+the+Roses

I am looking forward to the reaction of your Editorial Team

Kind greetings

Astrid Essed

Amsterdam 
The Netherlands

On Tuesday, February 24, 2015 1:15 PM, ukcustomerservice <ukcustomerservice@britannica. co.uk> wrote:

Dear Ms Essed,

Thank you for your e-mail.

We have passed your comprehensive feedback on to our Editorial Team for review.  Thank you for taking the time to review this content and provide all of this feedback.  When they have reviewed your comments we will let you know their response.

Kind regards

Britannica Customer Service

If you can include any previous message history in your reply it will speed up the time it takes to reply.

We hope that this is of some help to you.  If you require further assistance with this, please do not hesitate to contact us on 0800 282433 or +44 207 500 7843 for customers outside the UK.

Encyclopædia Britannica (UK) Ltd
Registered in England and Wales: Number 3830890

______________________________ __
From: Astrid Essed [astridessed@yahoo.com<mailto: astridessed@yahoo.com>]
Sent: 16 February 2015 22:19
To: enquiries – General Enquiries at Britannica.co.uk
Subject: Comments on your Page about the House of York

TO THE EDITORS OF ENCYCLOPAEDIA BRITANNICA
YOUR ARTICLE ABOUT THE HOUSE OF YORK
SOME COMMENTS

Dear Editors,

At first I want to express my great admiration for your
large scale History Page about ther various periods
of human history,

http://www.britannica.com/topi c-browse/History

I especially paid attention on your contributions
to the English Late Medieval History and visited
your page about the Hundred Years War between England
and France  with pleasure, learning much of your
information

http://www.britannica.com/topi c-browse/History/Middle-Ages/ Hundred-Years-War

THE WARS OF THE ROSES
YOUR PAGE OF THE HOUSE OF YORK
COMMENTS

A historian myself, I wrote some articles about the
Wars of the Roses [1]
See some of my articles  below.

Regarding your excellent contributions,  I have  read
your page about the House of York with
much interest.

See

ENCYCLOPAEDIA BRITANNICA, HOUSE OF YORK

http://www.britannica.com/EBch ecked/topic/653692/house-of- York

However I want to make some comments on your contribution,
referring to your remarks about the ”usurpation” of the House of
Lancaster by the House of York, as the ”weakness” of the
claim to the throne by Richard, Duke of York, being derived by
females.

But first, the usurpation:

FIRST:

USURPATION OF THE THRONE OF THE HOUSE OF
LANCASTER BY THE HOUSE OF YORK

In your comment you wrote

”House of York, younger branch of the house of Plantagenet<http://www.britann ica.com/EBchecked/topic/ 463365/house-of-Plantagenet> of England<http://www.britannica. com/EBchecked/topic/700965/Eng land>. In the 15th century, having usurped the throne from the house of Lancaster<http://www.britannic a.com/EBchecked/topic/328992/ house-of-Lancaster>, it provided three kings of England—Edward IV, Edward V<http://www.britannica.com/EB checked/topic/179763/Edward-V> , and Richard III—and, in turn defeated, passed on its claims to the Tudor dynasty.” [2]

I think you are wrong here, since, according to my opinion,
there was no  ”usurpation” here, in the classic meaning of the
definition.
To go to the definition of ”usurpation”:

”illegal seizure and occupation of a throne.” [3]

I will not go extensively  into your remark that the House
of York ”passed on its claims to the Tudor dynasty”, which is wrong.
Because, although there was a certain [not Tudor,
but Beaufort/Lancaster] claim to the English throne [4], the
House of York had a far stronger claim to the throne.
I refer to that later.
And smart Henry Tudor [who became King Henry
VII and was undoubtedly aware of that stronger York claim]
claimed the throne as ”right of conquest”,not
by ”right of inheritance”,  after
his victory in the Battle of Bosworth, where he defeated
the Yorkist King Richard III. [5]
And as a ”right of conquest” the legality of Henry’s kingship
was considered generally. [6]

No, the main point I want to focus here is your remark
”’House of York, younger branch of the house of Plantagenet<http://www.britann ica.com/EBchecked/topic/ 463365/house-of-Plantagenet> of England<http://www.britannica. com/EBchecked/topic/700965/Eng land>. In the 15th century, having usurped the throne from the house of Lancaster<http://www.britannic a.com/EBchecked/topic/328992/ house-of-Lancaster>”  [7]

USURPATION
THE ACT OF ACCORD

I said it before
According the definition, usurpation is
”illegal seizure and occupation of a throne.”

That means not only deposing a King
(which was almost a deadly sin in the Middle
Ages), but also through someone
who had none or lesser right to the throne.

In this case, at first there was no deposal of
the throne at all, since there was ”the Act of Accord”
and later, when King Edward IV ascended the
throne, the deposal of King Henry VI  was not as ”illegal”
as it seemed, because of two factors:
The stronger claim of the House of York to the throne,
[the Mortimer claim to the throne],
as the fact, that the House of Lancaster itself rose into power
by usurpation.
But first the Act of Accord

I referred to the fact, that there was no deposal at all
at first, mentioning the Act of Accord in 1460. [8].
that  included, that King Henry VI remained King of England,
but that Richard, Duke of York and his heirs would
succeed Henry, thus desinheriting Henry´s son, Edward of Westminster. [9]

Of course one can put  questions by disinheriting the
Kings´s son, but that’s another story.
The Act of Accord was a legal document, as a
result of negociations between the Duke of York and
the Parliament.(10), after his come back from Ireland
and (indeed) seemed to have tried  to seize the throne.[11]

Admitted, that [the deal of the Duke of York with the Parliament] was power play, since the party
of the Duke of York was on the winning hand in the
Wars of the Roses at that moment, but the Act of Accord
did not come ´´out of the blue´´ either.

ACT OF ACCORD
WHAT HAPPENED BEFORE

Susan Higginbotham, historical fictional writer of
Margaret Anjou, mentions the Act of Accord as
´´York, after all, had bullied her husband (Henry VI, my remark)
into disinheriting his own son in favor of York´´ (12)
and it is her right to see it like that, but I have another vision,
because I take the whole history, which preceeded the Accord Act.
into consideration.

Since King Henry VI’s uncle, Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester,
died in 1447, Richard, Duke of York, was heir presumptive
to the then childless King Henry VI. [13]
But from various reasons, King Henry VI, and his wife,
Queen Margaret of Anjou [14] favourited the party
of the Duke’s adversary, Edmund Beaufort, 1st Duke
of Somerset [who was of the Lancaster Swynford line] [15]
and sent Richard as Lieutenant to Ireland,
obviously in a sort of exile.[16]
Tensions grew high in the 50ths between York and
the Duke of Somerset [with the Queen as his ally],
the King got mental ill and in 1453 became father, which
ended York’s position as heir presumptive, but due
to the mental illness of the King, he became Protector
of the Realm twice.
Enmity between York and Somerset [and Margaret of
Anjou] rose farther and probably they wanted York
to be arrested, so he and his allies armed themselves.
A military confrontation was enevitable and broke out between York [with
his brother in law and his nephew, Warwick the Kingmaker as
allies] and the King [actually the Queen and Somerset],
which was the start of the Wars of the Roses.
After several bloody battles, in 1459, the Coventry Parliament
[probably instigated by Margaret of Anjou] attainted York and his allies [declared them to ”traitors” without trial] and forfeited their lives and
estates [17], which left York [according to my opinion]
no choice than first flee to Ireland and later
trying to seize the throne, resulting in the Act of Accord.

I don’t think either York, however ambitious, was after the
throne, before 1460.
He had enough opportunities to have taken the throne before
that [especially when the King was in his power after the
First Battle of St Albans in 1455], but he never made an attempt
untill he was pushed to the edge by the attainder of 1459. [18]

THE ACT OF ACCORD
AFTERMATH
BLOODY WAR, WAKEFIELD

When the Act of Accord had been accepted by the Lancastrian party,
probably King Henry should have remained King till his death, but
the bloody battles intensified.
Understandably, Margaret of Anjou was furious about her son’s disinheritance
and refused to accept it.
She went to Scotland, asking Mary of Guelders, the Queen Regent,
military support against the Yorkist party[19]  and the military
confrontations went on.
In her absence,  the Battle of Wakefield took place,where the Duke
of York [higly probable] died in battle and his son Edmund Earl of
Rutland, as the Dukes brother in law, the 5th Earl of Salisbury
[the father of Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick, the ”Kingmaker],
were executed after the battle. [20]
Unlike popular belief, Margaret of Anjou was not present at Wakefield, so
she couldn’t have ordered their executions. [21]
She returned to England and defeated Warwick in the 2nd Battle
of St Albans [22], where she was responsible for the
executions following. [23]
However, she spared the life of John Neville, brother of
the Earl of Warwick, probably since the brother
of her commander  the 3rd Duke of Somerset
[son to the late 2nd Duke of Somerset, enemy of Richard of York]
was a captive in Yorkist hands. [24]

But relieved as she might have been to get rid of the Duke of York,
she had a more formidable military adversary in his son and heir
Edward, now Duke of York, who defeated the Lancastrian forces in
the bloody and decisive Battle of Towton. [25]

THE ACT OF ACCORD/AFTERMATH
THE DUKE OF YORK’S SON AND HEIR’S
ASCENDANCY TO THE THRONE
KING EDWARD IV

Edward of York was not like his father, who had a loyalty
to the throne till he was pushed to the extremes.
Probably hardened by the loss of his father and brother at
Wakefield [where Warwick also lost his father and brother
Edward’s maternal uncle and cousin],as by an attitude
of machiavellistic politics,  he was not inclined
to hold on to the Act of accord, remaining Henry VI King of England.
In fact, since his mental instability, as the reality of
Edward’s victories, he wouldn’t have ruled anyway.
He was imprisoned in the Tower.

At march 1461, Edward was declared King of England, fulfilling
his father’s wishes for his sons.

USURPATION OR NOT?
THE CLAIMS TO THE THRONE OF THE HOUSE
OF YORK

Although you call the overthrowing of the Act
of Accord an usurpation, to my opinion it is no
usurpation at all, since the Lancasters should not have to
be kings all along, due to the superior claim to the throne
of York, as the Lancaster usurpation of King Richard II. [26]

The claims to the throne first.

Richard, Duke of York had superior claims to the throne.
He was the grandson of Edmund of Langley, the fourth son
of King Edward III, but that was not his superior claim, since
the House of Lancaster [The ”King Henry’s” as the Beauforts}
descended from John of Gaunt, the third son of King Edward III.
But it was his mother” side, that gave him the superior claim.[27]

York’s maternal grandfather, Roger Mortimer, 4th Earl of March,
was the materrnal grandson of Lionel of Antwerp, the SECOND son
of King Edward III and that gave him a greater claim than that of the Lancaster.
See the Family Tree

King Edward III

Lionel of Antwerp [second son to Edward III]

Philippa P lantagenet [Lionel’s daughter], married Edmund Mortimer, 3rd
3th Earl of March

Roger, 4th Earl of March [Philippa Plantagenet’s son]

Edmund Mortimer, 5th Earl of March [son to Roger]

Anne Mortimer [daughter to Roger], maried Richard Conisburtgh
[son of Edmund of Langley, first Duke of York]

Richard, Duke of York [son to Anne Mortimer, descendant of
Lionel of Antwerp, second son of Edward II]

Isabel Plantagenet [daughter to Anne Mortimer and sister to
Richard, Duke of York] [28]

MORTIMERS CLAIM TO THE THRONE

But there was more, which asserted the superior York claims.
Since King Richard II was childless, he appointed as his heir
presumptive, Roger Mortimer, 4th Earl of March
  [Richard of York’s maternal grandfather].
Roger was the son of Richard II’s cousin Philippa
[Richard II and Philippa were the children of two brothers,
The Black Prince and Lionel of Antwerp, the first and second son
of King Edward III]. [29]

Roger Mortimer never became King, since he died a year before Richard II, but
his heir presumptive right passed to his son, Edmund, 5th Earl of March,
who was the maternal uncle of Richard of York. [30]

However, since Henry Bolingbroke usurped the throne from Richard II, Edmund,
only a boy, was overlooked, so also his superior right to the throne. [31]
However, when Edmund Mortimer [brother to Richard the Duke’s mother,
Anne Mortimer]died childless, York not only inherited his lands and estates,
as his titles, but also his heir presumptive right.

After the death of King Henry VI’s uncle, Humphrey,
Duke of Gloucester, [brother of his father Henry V],York became heir
presumptive till the birth of Henry’s son in 1453, Edward of
Westminster. [32]

WHO WERE THE REAL USURPERS?
LANCASTER USURPATION OF RICHARD II

I have shown above, that it was Henry IV, founder of the House
of Lancaster, who usurped not only the
throne of England by deposing the rightful King Richard II [33],
but also overlooked the rightful heir presumptive, Edmund  Mortimer.
When the right to the throne was justly followed, not King Henry IV,
but Edmund Mortimer had ascended the throne and was probably
succeeded by his nephew Richard, Duke of York.

Therefore it is [with all respect] utter nonsense to speak of
an ”usurpation of the throne” by Edward, son of Richard of York,
in 1461.
The only usurpators were the Lancasters.

Amitted, due to the military succesful reign of King Henry V [34],
the usurpation was forgotten, but that didn’t make it undone.
Therefore it were the Mortimers and their descendant
Richard of York, who should have been Kings from the beginning.

I think that was the reason, that York was ousted of power
and sent to Ireland in the late 40s.
And probably the reason, Margaret of Anjou didn’t trust him. [35]

SECOND:

THE ”WEAKNESS” OF THE CLAIM OF
RICHARD OF YORK, SINCE IT WAS DERIVED
FROM FEMALES?

You justly confirmed the superior claim of York
to the House of Lancaster, as you correctly state,
that was the reign of Henry VI succesful, the claim
was never advanced at all.
I also think, that the only reason York advanced his
claim was the unsuccesful rule of Henry VI,
due to his mental problems, his corrupt advisors,
as the great losses in the Hundred Years War.

But I disagree with you on the point, that the weakness
in the claim of York was, that it was derived from females.

Because although men had the first rights to the throne,
there was no Salic Law in England, that exclude women from
the throne, nor from claims to the throne, which passed
through their descendants.

For example Queen Maud [mother to the later
King Henry II and daughter to King Henry I, who was the
son to William the Conqueror] was declared heiress to
the throne by her father after the death of his only son. [36]
Granted, the Norman barons didn’t accept her after the death
of her father and civil war burst out [37], but were women excluded,
her father should not have declare his daughter heiress.

But moreover, claiming rights to the throne from female line
is done in English history at several occasions and was
considered legally and valid.

FOUR IMPORTANT HISTORICAL OCCASIONS
BY WHICH MEN CLAIMED OR INHERITED THE THRONE
FROM FEMALE LINE

There are at least four important occasions by which men
claimed the throne from female descent.

First:
Stephen of Blois, cousin to Queen Maud [daughter
of King Henry I and heiress to the throne], who claimed
the right to the throne through female line [being a maternal
grandson to William the Conqueror]

The first was in the time of Queen Maud [called also
”Empress Maud because of her earlier marriage with
the Holy Roman Emperor].
Her right to the English throne was challenged by her
cousin, Stephen of Blois, who claimed the throne
through his grandfather, William the Conqueror, who
was his maternal grandfather. [38]
He had men enough, prepared to support his maternal
claim, took the throne, drove his cousin Mathilda and her husband Henry
of Anjou out of the country and a yearlong military struggle, the
anarchy, started. [39]
Eventually, after the death of Stephen’s son and heir,
a deal was made, that Stephen would rule, but had to recognise
Maud’s son, Henry of Anjou, as his heir. [40]

Second:
Henry of Anjou [King Henry II], son to Queen Maud, who inherited the throne through his mother.

After Stephen’s death, Henry of Anjou would become King Henry
II [41], father to Richard Lion Heart [Richard I] (42) and John, King
of England [John Lackland] [43]
Henry II was the founder of the Plantagenet Dynasty. [44]

So here are two men who claimed or inherited their throne
from females.
Stephen of Blois, claiming the throne as a grandson of
William the Conqueror from his mother’s side as
King Henry II, who inherited the throne from his mother’s
side.
No ”weakness” here.

Third
King Edward III, who claimed the French throne through
his mother, Isabella of France
Resulting in the Hundred Years War with France, being the
maternal grandson of the French King Philip IV.

Perhaps most famous is the claim to the French throne,
laid by King Edward III [45], through is mother, Queen
Isabella of France (46), who was the daughter of the French
King, Philip IV (47)
That made Edward III the maternal grandson to a French King.
When the last son of King Philip IV, named Charles IV (48),
died in 1328 without a male heir, the question was
Who is going to be the new King!
His sister Isabella, mother of Edward III, claimed the throne
for her son, but problem was, that since 1316 the Salic
Law was introduced in France (which excluded women as
heirs to the throne). (49)
This was no coincidence, but due to an adultery scandal,
involving the wives of Charles IV and his brother Louis X (50),
The Tour de Nesle Affair (51), questioning the paternity
of the sons of the King.
This was particularly urgent after the death of Louis X, since
the legitimacy of his daughter Joan was in question, (52)
due to her mother´s alleged adultery. (53)

Anyway, Isabella´s claim to the throne for Edward III was
rejected, since she, being a woman, was excluded from the
rights to the throne and couldn´t transmit a right what she
didn´t possess. (54)
But that was the French Law.
Point I want to make is, that claiming through a female
was quite strong in England, which didn´t know the Salic
Law.
Eventually Edward III would claim the French throne
anyway [55], which was one of the causes of the
Hundred Year´s war with France.
And that´s my second point I want to state.
Since no one in England questioned Edward´s claim
through a female and the nobles wholeheartedly supported
him in the war with France, female claims were neither
unusual nor ´´weak´´.

FOURTH
LANCASTER CLAIM TO THE THRONE THROUGH
FEMALE LINE/THE QUESTION EDMUND CROUCHBACK

Since Henry Bolingbroke usurped the throne of Richard II in
1399, becoming King Henry IV, a Lancaster right to the throne
was of the greatest importance, that was superior
to  that of Richard II, son of the first son of Edward III
as the Mortimer right to the throne [descendants of
Lionel of Antwerp, second son of Edward III.
So Henry IV was clever enough not to base his claim on his
fathers side, since John of Gaunt [his father] was the third son
of Edward III.
In stead of that, he based it on the side of his mother, Blanche,
of Lancaster [56], who was the great granddaughter of Edmund Crouchback.[57]
And Edmund Crouchback was the son of King Henry III [58] and the
younger brother of King Edward I. [59]
One could say?
So what about the claim.
Well, here it is.
According to Henry IV [Lancastrian views], this Edmund Crouchback was
not the second son of Henry III, but his first son in stead of Edward I,
but disinherited because of his bodily deformity [a twisted back]

You see the consequences?
That makes King Edward I, II, III and Richard II a sort of usurpers
and the rights to the throne of Richard II as the Mortimers claim
null and void, since Edward III would be an usurper king.
However, it’s a pity for Henry IV and the other Lancasters, who
claimed the Crouchback case, that there is no proof
whatsoever, that Edward I was not the first son of
King Henry III.
So its pure Lancastrian propaganda. [60]

I mentioned this ”Edmund Crouchback claim” as the fourth
historfical example of men, who based their claims on females
or inherited the throne by females.

A proof, that deriving a right to the throne from females,
as has done by Richard, Duke of York, was not ”weak”
at all, but has proven valid and generally accepted through
English history.

EPILOGUE

To my opinion, the deposing of King Henry VI by Edward of York,
son of Richard, Duke of York, was no usurpation, since
The Duke of York [who passed the right to the throne to his
eldest son, Edward] had a superior right to the throne than King Henry VI,
[called the Mortimer claim]
being the descendant of Lionel of Antwerp, second son
of Edward III, while Henry was the descendant of the third son
of Edward III, John of Gaunt.
In fact, after the death of King Richard II, the Dukes uncle,
Edmund Mortimer, who was heir presumptive to Richard II
should have become King of England.
So by deposing Henry VI, Edward of York took his rightful
place on the throne.

The reason why Edmund Mortimer didn’t become King was
lain in the usurpation of Henry IV [grandfather to Henry VI] of
the throne of Richard II, which was not only illegitimate,
but also overlooking the superior Mortimer claim of Edmund
Mortimer.

You also remarked the ”weak point” of the Mortimer claim
[York’s right to the throne] his deriving from females.
I’ve shown you four historical examples, by which claims
to the throne [or even inheritance] by females were made,
the most famous Edward III claim to the French throne by
his mother, Queen Isabella [wife to Edward II]
I think I have stated clearly, that the female right is
valid and not weak.

I wrote this letter out of appreciation with your work.
Thank you for reading it.

Much succes with your wortful historical research.

Kind greetings

Astrid Essed

Amsterdam 
The Netherlands

NOTES

[1]

ENGLISH HISTORY/THE WARS OF THE ROSES/
MARGARET OF ANJOU, TWO MAJOR PLAYERS
ASTRID ESSED

http://www.astridessed.nl/engl ish-historythe-wars-of-the- rosesmargaret-of-anjou-and- richard-duke-of-york-two-major -players/

THE WARS OF THE ROSES/
RICHARD, DUKE OF YORK, THE CLAIMS TO THE THRONE
OF LANCASTER AND YORK
ASTRID ESSED

http://www.astridessed.nl/the- wars-of-the-rosesrichard-duke- of-yorkthe-claims-to-the-thron e-of-lancaster-and-york/

THE WARS OF THE ROSES/
CAUSES OF THE WARS OF THE ROSES/A TRAVEL TO THE PAST
ASTRID ESSED

http://www.astridessed.nl/the- wars-of-the-rosescauses-of-the -wars-of-the-rosesa-travel-to- the-past/

THE WARS OF THE ROSES/MARGARET OF ANJOU/SHE WOLF
OR NOT/COMMENTS ON THE ARTICLE OF MR GARETH RUSELL
ABOUT MARGARET OF ANJOU
ASTRID ESSED

http://www.astridessed.nl/the- wars-of-the-rosesmargaret-of-a njoushe-wolf-or-notcomments-on -the-article-of-mr-gareth-ruse ll-about-margaret-of-anjou/

[2]

ENCYCLOPAEDIA BRITANNICA, HOUSE OF YORK

http://www.britannica.com/EBch ecked/topic/653692/house-of- York

[3]

”illegal seizure and occupation of a throne.”

DICTIONARY.COM<http://dictiona ry.com/>
USURPATION

http://dictionary.reference.co m/browse/usurpation

[4]

”Henry’s main claim to the English throne derived from his mother through the House of Beaufort<http://en.wikipedia.o rg/wiki/House_of_Beaufort>. Henry’s mother, Lady Margaret Beaufort, was a great-granddaughter of John of Gaunt<http://en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/John_of_Gaunt,_1st_Duke_o f_Lancaster>, Duke of Lancaster, fourth son of Edward III<http://en.wikipedia.org/wi ki/Edward_III_of_England>, and his third wife Katherine Swynford<http://en.wikipedia.o rg/wiki/Katherine_Swynford>. Katherine was Gaunt’s mistress for about 25 years; when they married in 1396, they already had four children, including Henry’s great-grandfather John Beaufort<http://en.wikipedia.o rg/wiki/John_Beaufort,_1st_Ear l_of_Somerset>.”

WIKIPEDIA
HENRY VII OF ENGLAND
ANCESTRY AND EARLY LIFE

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H enry_VII_of_England#Ancestry_a nd_early_life

SOURCE
WIKIPEDIA
HENRY VII OF ENGLAND

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H enry_VII_of_England

The Swynford branch of the Lancaster line [the children of John of Gaunt,
son to Edward III and his mistress Kathryn Swynford], called the
”Beauforts”, were legitimised first by King Richard II and later by
King Henry IV [as legitimate son of John of Gaunt, the halfbrother of
the Beauforts], on condition that they should not claim the throne.

YOUTUBE.COM<http://youtube.com />
CAUSES OF THE WARS OF THE ROSES
MARK GOACHER

https://www.youtube.com/watch? v=d2QgaRbIjzQ

”The family is descended from John Beaufort<http://en.wikipedia.o rg/wiki/John_Beaufort> (1371-1410), John of Gaunt’s son by his then-mistress Katherine Swynford<http://en.wikipedia.o rg/wiki/Katherine_Swynford>. Gaunt married Swynford in 1396, and their children were legitimized by Richard II<http://en.wikipedia.org/wik i/Richard_II_of_England> and Pope Boniface IX<http://en.wikipedia.org/wik i/Pope_Boniface_IX>. They had three other children, also Beaufort: Henry, Thomas, and Joan.[1]<http://en.wikipedia.o rg/wiki/House_of_Beaufort#cite _note-FOOTNOTEChisholm1911-1>
The Beauforts were a powerful and wealthy family from the start, and rose to greater power after their (half-)brother and uncle became King Henry IV<http://en.wikipedia.org/wik i/Henry_IV_of_England> in 1399. However, in 1406, Henry IV<http://en.wikipedia.org/wik i/Henry_IV_of_England> decided that although the Beauforts were legitimate, their genetic line could not be used to make any claim to the throne.”

WIKIPEDIA
HOUSE OF BEAUFORT
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H ouse_of_Beaufort

[5]

WIKIPEDIA
BATTLE OF BOSWORTH

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B attle_of_Bosworth_Field

[6]

”So Henry VII didn’t claim the throne through right of inheritance: he claimed it through the right of conquest, not through any of his own royal lineage.”

WOMEN’S HISTORY
LEGITIMATE ENOUGH HERITAGE?
TUDOR’S CLAIM TO THE THRONE [1485]

http://womenshistory.about.com /od/medbritishwomen/ss/Birth- Controversies-and-the-Wars-of- the-Roses_2.htm

” Henry VII acknowledged the necessity of marrying Elizabeth of York to ensure the stability of his rule and weaken the claims of other surviving members of the House of York<http://en.wikipedia.org/w iki/House_of_York>, but he ruled in his own right and claimed the throne by right of conquest and not by his marriage to the heir of the House of York.”

WIKIPEDIA
ELIZABETH OF YORK
WIFE OF THE KING

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E lizabeth_of_York#Wife_of_the_k ing

SOURCE

WIKIPEDIA
ELIZABETH OF YORK

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E lizabeth_of_York

” It was truly through the defeat of Richard and the ‘right of conquest’ that Henry claimed the throne.”

TUDOR HISTORY
HENRY VII

http://tudorhistory.org/henry7 /

[7]

ENCYCLOPAEDIA BRITANNICA
HOUSE OF YORK

http://www.britannica.com/EBch ecked/topic/653692/house-of- York

[8]

WIKIPEDIA
THE ACT OF ACCORD

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A ct_of_Accord

THE FULL TEXT OF THE ACT OF ACCORD

http://books.google.co.uk/book s?id=X_4UAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA104&dq= inauthor:%22John+Silvester+ Davies%22&output=html_text

BRITAIN EXPRESS
THE ACT OF ACCORD

http://www.britainexpress.com/ History/medieval/act-accord.ht m

HISTORY OF WAR
ACT OF ACCORD, 25 OCTOBER 1460

http://www.historyofwar.org/ar ticles/treaty_act_accord.html

[9]

WIKIPEDIA
THE ACT OF ACCORD

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A ct_of_Accord

BRITAIN EXPRESS
THE ACT OF ACCORD

http://www.britainexpress.com/ History/medieval/act-accord.ht m

HISTORY OF WAR
ACT OF ACCORD, 25 OCTOBER 1460

http://www.historyofwar.org/ar ticles/treaty_act_accord.html

[10]

WIKIPEDIA
RICHARD, DUKE OF YORK
THE WEEL OF FORTUNE

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R ichard_of_York,_3rd_Duke_of_Yo rk#The_wheel_of_fortune_.28145 9.E2.80.931460.29

SOURCE
WIKIPEDIA
RICHARD, DUKE OF YORK

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R ichard_of_York,_3rd_Duke_of_Yo rk

[11]

WIKIPEDIA
RICHARD, DUKE OF YORK
THE WEEL OF FORTUNE

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R ichard_of_York,_3rd_Duke_of_Yo rk#The_wheel_of_fortune_.28145 9.E2.80.931460.29

SOURCE
WIKIPEDIA
RICHARD, DUKE OF YORK

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R ichard_of_York,_3rd_Duke_of_Yo rk

[12]

”Margaret undoubtedly rejoiced over York’s death—York, after all, had bullied her husband into disinheriting his own son in favor of York, and Margaret had every reason to fear for her husband’s future in a government controlled by York—but she did not have what to her might well have been the pleasure of seeing her enemy fall.”

MYTHS ABOUT MARGARET OF ANJOU
SUSAN HIGGINBOTHAM

http://www.susanhigginbotham.c om/subpages/margaretmyths.html

[13]

”The death of Humphrey, duke of Gloucester, in 1447 left York next in line for succession to the throne, and the Beauforts had him sent—virtually banished—to Ireland<http://www.britannica. com/EBchecked/topic/293754/Ire land> as lord lieutenant.”

ENCYCLOPAEDIA BRITANNICA
RICHARD, 3RD DUKE OF YORK

http://www.britannica.com/EBch ecked/topic/653703/Richard- 3rd-duke-of-York

[14]

WIKIPEDIA
MARGARET OF ANJOU

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M argaret_of_Anjou

[15]

Kings favouritism of the Somerset and Suffolk party [which
was the ”peace” party to France, more open for
negociations] against the Gloucester [the Kings uncle
Humphrey  Duke of Gloucester] and York party
[the war party to France]

YOUTUBE.COM<http://youtube.com />
CAUSES OF THE WARS OF THE ROSES
MARK GOACHER

https://www.youtube.com/watch? v=d2QgaRbIjzQ

[16]

”His attitude toward the Council’s surrender of Maine<http://en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/Maine_(province_of_France )>, in return for an extension of the truce with France and a French bride for Henry, must have contributed to his appointment on 30 July as Lieutenant of Ireland<http://en.wikipedia.or g/wiki/Lord_Lieutenant_of_Irel and>. In some ways it was a logical appointment, as Richard was also Earl of Ulster<http://en.wikipedia.org /wiki/Earl_of_Ulster> and had considerable estates in Ireland, but it was also a convenient way of removing him from both England and France.”

WIKIPEDIA
RICHARD DUKE OF YORK
IRELAND

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R ichard_of_York,_3rd_Duke_of_Yo rk#Ireland_.281445.E2.80.93145 0.29

SOURCE
WIKIPEDIA
RICHARD, DUKE OF YORK

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R ichard_of_York,_3rd_Duke_of_Yo rk

[17]

”In December 1459 York, Warwick and Salisbury had suffered attainder<http://en.wikipedia. org/wiki/Attainder>. Their lives were forfeit, and their lands reverted to the king; their heirs would not inherit.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R ichard_of_York,_3rd_Duke_of_Yo rk#The_wheel_of_fortune_.28145 9.E2.80.931460.29

SOURCE
WIKIPEDIA
RICHARD, DUKE OF YORK

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R ichard_of_York,_3rd_Duke_of_Yo rk

”On this day in 1459 the ‘Wars of the Roses’ between the houses of Lancaster and York took on an increased ferocity. Parliament had not met for three and a half years, since March 1456, when it had been dissolved following the resignation of Richard, duke of York, as Protector and the nominal resumption of authority by the mentally-unstable Henry VI. That summer the seat of government was effectively removed to Coventry, in the Lancastrian heart-lands, and the chief offices of state were allotted to intimates of the queen, Margaret of Anjou.”
ON THIS DAY, 20 NOVEMBER 1459, THE ”PARLIAMENT OF DEVILS
ASSEMBLES AT COVENTRY
HISTORY OF PARLIAMENT ONLINE
http://www.historyofparliament online.org/periods/medieval/ day-20-november-1459- parliament-devils-assembles- coventry

WIKIPEDIA
PARLIAMENT OF DEVILS

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P arliament_of_Devils

[18]

”In December 1459 York, Warwick and Salisbury had suffered attainder<http://en.wikipedia. org/wiki/Attainder>. Their lives were forfeit, and their lands reverted to the king; their heirs would not inherit.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R ichard_of_York,_3rd_Duke_of_Yo rk#The_wheel_of_fortune_.28145 9.E2.80.931460.29

SOURCE
WIKIPEDIA
RICHARD, DUKE OF YORK

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R ichard_of_York,_3rd_Duke_of_Yo rk

”On this day in 1459 the ‘Wars of the Roses’ between the houses of Lancaster and York took on an increased ferocity. Parliament had not met for three and a half years, since March 1456, when it had been dissolved following the resignation of Richard, duke of York, as Protector and the nominal resumption of authority by the mentally-unstable Henry VI. That summer the seat of government was effectively removed to Coventry, in the Lancastrian heart-lands, and the chief offices of state were allotted to intimates of the queen, Margaret of Anjou.”
ON THIS DAY, 20 NOVEMBER 1459, THE ”PARLIAMENT OF DEVILS
ASSEMBLES AT COVENTRY
HISTORY OF PARLIAMENT ONLINE
http://www.historyofparliament online.org/periods/medieval/ day-20-november-1459- parliament-devils-assembles- coventry

WIKIPEDIA
PARLIAMENT OF DEVILS

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P arliament_of_Devils

[19]

WIKIPEDIA
MARGARET OF ANJOU
MILITARY CAMPAIGNS

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M argaret_of_Anjou#Military_camp aigns

SOURCE
WIKIPEDIA
MARGARET OF ANJOU

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M argaret_of_Anjou#The_Wars_of_t he_Roses

”While Mary was still mourning the death of King James II<http://en.wikipedia.org/wik i/James_II_of_Scotland>, the Lancastrian Queen Margaret of Anjou<http://en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/Margaret_of_Anjou> fled north across the border seeking refuge from the Yorkists. Mary sympathetically aided Margaret and took Edward of Westminster<http://en.wikipedi a.org/wiki/Edward_of_Westminst er> into her household to keep them out of Yorkist hands.
Mary’s dealings with Margaret were mainly to provide aid to the deposed queen. Mary gave a number of Scottish troops to help Margaret and the Lancastrian cause”

WIKIPEDIA
MARY OF GUELDERS
REGENCY

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M ary_of_Guelders#Regency

SOURCE
WIKIPEDIA
MARY OF GUELDERS

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M ary_of_Guelders

[20]

WIKIPEDIA
BATTLE OF WAKEFIELD
CASUALTIES

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B attle_of_Wakefield#Casualties

WIKIPEDIA
BATTLE OF WAKEFIELD

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B attle_of_Wakefield

[21]

”While she was attempting to raise further support for the Lancastrian cause in Scotland,[15]<http://en.wikipe dia.org/wiki/Margaret_of_ Anjou#cite_note-15> her principal commander, Henry Beaufort, 3rd Duke of Somerset<http://en.wikipedia.o rg/wiki/Henry_Beaufort,_3rd_Du ke_of_Somerset>,[16]<http://en .wikipedia.org/wiki/Margaret_ of_Anjou#cite_note-16> gained a major victory for her at the Battle of Wakefield<http://en.wikipedia. org/wiki/Battle_of_Wakefield> on 30 December 1460 by defeating the combined armies of the Duke of York and the Earl of Salisbury. Both men were beheaded and their heads displayed on the gates of the city of York. As Margaret was in Scotland at the time the battle had taken place, it was impossible that she issued the orders for their executions despite popular belief to the contrary.”

WIKIPEDIA
MARGARET OF ANJOU
MILITARY CAMPAIGNS

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M argaret_of_Anjou#Military_camp aigns

WIKIPEDIA
MARGARET OF ANJOU

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M argaret_of_Anjou#The_Wars_of_t he_Roses

[22]

WIKIPEDIA
SECOND BATTLE OF ST ALBANS

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S econd_Battle_of_St_Albans

[23]

”Two knights (Lord Bonville<http://en.wikipedia.o rg/wiki/William_Bonville,_1st_ Baron_Bonville> and Sir Thomas Kyriell<http://en.wikipedia.or g/wiki/Thomas_Kyriell>, a veteran leader of the Hundred Years War<http://en.wikipedia.org/wi ki/Hundred_Years_War>) had sworn to let him come to no harm, and remained with him throughout. The next morning Margaret asked her son, the seven-year-old Edward of Westminster, how, not whether, the two knights were to die. Edward, thus prompted, sent them to be beheaded.[6]<http://en.wikiped ia.org/wiki/Second_Battle_of_ St_Albans#cite_note-8>”

WIKIPEDIA
SECOND BATTLE OF ST ALBANS
AFTERMATH

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S econd_Battle_of_St_Albans#Afte rmath

SOURCE
WIKIPEDIA
SECOND BATTLE OF ST ALBANS

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S econd_Battle_of_St_Albans

[24]

”John Neville had been captured but was spared execution, as the Duke of Somerset feared that his own younger brother who was in Yorkist hands might be executed in reprisal”

WIKIPEDIA
SECOND BATTLE OF ST ALBANS
AFTERMATH

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S econd_Battle_of_St_Albans#Afte rmath

SOURCE
WIKIPEDIA
SECOND BATTLE OF ST ALBANS

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S econd_Battle_of_St_Albans

[25]

WIKIPEDIA
BATTLE OF TOWTON

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B attle_of_Towton

[26]

WARFARE HISTORY BLOG
PRELUDE TO THE WARS OF THE ROSES,
USURPATION,REBELLION AND MEDIEVAL
WARFARE  1387-1403

http://warfarehistorian.blogsp ot.nl/2012/10/prelude-to-wars- of-roses-usurpation.html

”Their son Henry<http://en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/Henry_IV_of_England> usurped the throne in 1399, creating one of the factions in the Wars of the Roses<http://en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/Wars_of_the_Roses>.”

WIKIPEDIA
HOUSE OF LANCASTER

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H ouse_of_Lancaster

[27]

YOUTUBE.COM<http://youtube.com />
CAUSES OF THE WARS OF THE ROSES
MARK GOACHER

https://www.youtube.com/watch? v=d2QgaRbIjzQ

”Though Parliament conceded that Richard had the better claim to the throne, they were unwilling to depose him outright. A compromise was reached, and that compromise was the Act of Accord.”

BRITAIN EXPRESS
THE ACT OF ACCORD

http://www.britainexpress.com/ History/medieval/act-accord.ht m

THE WARS OF THE ROSES/RICHARD, DUKE OF
YORK/THE CLAIMS TO THE THRONE OF LANCASTER
AND YORK
ASTRID ESSED

http://www.astridessed.nl/the- wars-of-the-rosesrichard-duke- of-yorkthe-claims-to-the-thron e-of-lancaster-and-york/

[28]

THE WARS OF THE ROSES/RICHARD, DUKE OF
YORK/THE CLAIMS TO THE THRONE OF LANCASTER
AND YORK
ASTRID ESSED

http://www.astridessed.nl/the- wars-of-the-rosesrichard-duke- of-yorkthe-claims-to-the-thron e-of-lancaster-and-york/

[29]

” During her own lifetime, Philippa was the heir presumptive<http://en.wikipedi a.org/wiki/Heir_presumptive> to her first cousin Richard II<http://en.wikipedia.org/wik i/Richard_II_of_England>; she would have been displaced in the succession by any legitimate children of the king. Richard remained childless, so after her death, her position as first in line for the throne passed to her son, Roger Mortimer, 4th Earl of March<http://en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/Roger_Mortimer,_4th_Earl_ of_March>. He was killed at the Battle of Kells in Ireland in 1398, making his six-year-old son, Edmund Mortimer, 5th Earl of March<http://en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/Edmund_Mortimer,_5th_Earl _of_March>, Richard’s heir presumptive.”

WIKIPEDIA
PHILIPPA, 5TH COUNTESS OF ULSTER

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P hilippa,_5th_Countess_of_Ulste r

[30]

” During her own lifetime, Philippa was the heir presumptive<http://en.wikipedi a.org/wiki/Heir_presumptive> to her first cousin Richard II<http://en.wikipedia.org/wik i/Richard_II_of_England>; she would have been displaced in the succession by any legitimate children of the king. Richard remained childless, so after her death, her position as first in line for the throne passed to her son, Roger Mortimer, 4th Earl of March<http://en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/Roger_Mortimer,_4th_Earl_ of_March>. He was killed at the Battle of Kells in Ireland in 1398, making his six-year-old son, Edmund Mortimer, 5th Earl of March<http://en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/Edmund_Mortimer,_5th_Earl _of_March>, Richard’s heir presumptive.”

WIKIPEDIA
PHILIPPA, 5TH COUNTESS OF ULSTER

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P hilippa,_5th_Countess_of_Ulste r

[31]

” A great-grandson of King Edward III of England<http://en.wikipedia.or g/wiki/Edward_III_of_England>, he was heir presumptive<http://en.wikipedi a.org/wiki/Heir_presumptive> to King Richard II of England<http://en.wikipedia.or g/wiki/Richard_II_of_England>, his cousin once removed, when Richard II was deposed in favour of Henry IV<http://en.wikipedia.org/wik i/Henry_IV_of_England>. Edmund Mortimer’s claim to the crown was the basis of rebellions and plots against Henry IV and his son Henry V<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki /Henry_V_of_England>, and was later taken up by theHouse of York<http://en.wikipedia.org/w iki/House_of_York> in the Wars of the Roses<http://en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/Wars_of_the_Roses>, though Mortimer himself was a important and loyal vassal of Henry V and Henry VI”

WIKIPEDIA
EDMUND MORTIMER, 5TH EARL OF MARCH

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E dmund_Mortimer,_5th_Earl_of_Ma rch

[32]

WIKIPEDIA
EDWARD OF WESTMINSTER, PRINCE OF WALES

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E dward_of_Westminster,_Prince_o f_Wales

[33]

WARFARE HISTORY BLOG
PRELUDE TO THE WARS OF THE ROSES,
USURPATION,REBELLION AND MEDIEVAL
WARFARE  1387-1403

http://warfarehistorian.blogsp ot.nl/2012/10/prelude-to-wars- of-roses-usurpation.html

”Their son Henry<http://en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/Henry_IV_of_England> usurped the throne in 1399, creating one of the factions in the Wars of the Roses<http://en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/Wars_of_the_Roses>.”

WIKIPEDIA
HOUSE OF LANCASTER

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H ouse_of_Lancaster

[34]

WIKIPEDIA
HENRY V OF ENGLAND
CAMPAIGN

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H enry_V_of_England#1415_campaig n

SOURCE

WIKIPEDIA
HENRY V OF ENGLAND

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H enry_V_of_England

[35]

WIKIPEDIA
MARGARET OF ANJOU
ENMITY BETWEEN MARGARET AND THE DUKE OF YORK

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M argaret_of_Anjou#Enmity_betwee n_Margaret_and_the_Duke_of_ York

SOURCE
WIKIPEDIA
MARGARET OF ANJOU

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M argaret_of_Anjou

[36]

”Meanwhile, Matilda’s younger brother, William Adelin<http://en.wikipedia.org /wiki/William_Adelin>, died in the White Ship<http://en.wikipedia.org/w iki/White_Ship> disaster of 1120, leaving England facing a potential succession crisis. On Henry V’s death, Matilda was recalled to Normandy<http://en.wikipedia.o rg/wiki/Duchy_of_Normandy> by her father, who arranged for her to marry Geoffrey of Anjou<http://en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/Geoffrey_Plantagenet,_Cou nt_of_Anjou> to form an alliance to protect his southern borders. Henry I had no further children and nominated Matilda as his heir, making his court swear an oath<http://en.wikipedia.org/w iki/Oath> of loyalty to her and her successors, but the decision was not popular in the Anglo-Norman<http://en.wikiped ia.org/wiki/Anglo-Norman> court.”

WIKIPEDIA
EMPRESS MATHILDA

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E mpress_Matilda

[37]

WIKIPEDIA
THE ANARCHY

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T he_Anarchy

[38]

WIKIPEDIA
STEPHEN, KING OF ENGLAND

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S tephen,_King_of_England

BIOGRAPHY
STEPHEN OF BLOIS

http://www.biography.com/peopl e/stephen-of-blois-9493736

”Adela of Normandy also known as Adela of Blois and Adela of England (c. 1067[1]<http://en.wikipedia.or g/wiki/Adela_of_Normandy#cite_ note-Women_and_Gender-1> – 8 March 1137), and Saint Adela in Roman Catholicism,[2]<http://en.wiki pedia.org/wiki/Adela_of_Norman dy#cite_note-catholic.org-2> was, by marriage, Countess of Blois<http://en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/Blois>, Chartres<http://en.wikipedia.o rg/wiki/Chartres>, and Meaux<http://en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/Meaux>. She was a daughter ofWilliam the Conqueror<http://en.wikipedia. org/wiki/William_I_of_England> and Matilda of Flanders<http://en.wikipedia.o rg/wiki/Matilda_of_Flanders>. She was also the mother of Stephen, King of England<http://en.wikipedia.or g/wiki/Stephen_of_England> and Henry of Blois<http://en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/Henry_of_Blois>, Bishop of Winchester<http://en.wikipedia .org/wiki/Bishop_of_Winchester >.”

WIKIPEDIA
ADELA OF NORMANDY

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A dela_of_Normandy

[39]

WIKIPEDIA
THE ANARCHY

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T he_Anarchy

[40]

”The Treaty of Wallingford, also known as the Treaty of Winchester or the Treaty of Westminster, was an agreement reached in England<http://en.wikipedia.or g/wiki/England> the summer of 1153. It effectively ended a civil war known as the Anarchy<http://en.wikipedia.or g/wiki/The_Anarchy> (1135–54), caused by a dispute between Empress Matilda<http://en.wikipedia.or g/wiki/Empress_Matilda> and her cousin King Stephen of England<http://en.wikipedia.or g/wiki/Stephen_of_England> over the English crown. The Treaty of Wallingford allowed Stephen to keep the throne until his death (which was to come in October 1154), but forced Stephen to recognise Matilda’s son Henry of Anjou (also called Henry FitzEmpress), who later became Henry II<http://en.wikipedia.org/wik i/Henry_II_of_England>, as his heir.”

TREATY OF WALLINGFORD, ALSO KNOWN
AS THE TREATY OF WINCHESTER

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T reaty_of_Wallingford

[41]

WIKIPEDIA
HENRY II OF ENGLAND

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H enry_II_of_England

[42]

WIKIPEDIA
RICHARD I OF ENGLAND

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R ichard_I_of_England

(43)

WIKIPEDIA
JOHN, KING OF ENGLAND

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J ohn,_King_of_England

[44]

WIKIPEDIA
HOUSE OF PLANTAGENET

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H ouse_of_Plantagenet

(45)

WIKIPEDIA
EDWARD III OF ENGLAND

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E dward_III_of_England

(46)

WIKIPEDIA
ISABELLA OF FRANCE

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I sabella_of_France

(47)

WIKIPEDIA
PHILIP IV OF FRANCE

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P hilip_IV_of_France

(48)

WIKIPEDIA
CHARLES IV OF FRANCE

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C harles_IV_of_France

(49)

´´ In 1316, a principle was established denying women succession to the French throne.´´

SOURCE
WIKIPEDIA
HUNDRED YEAR´S WAR

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H undred_Years%27_War

(50)

WIKIPEDIA
LOUIS X OF FRANCE

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L ouis_X_of_France

(51)

WIKIPEDIA
TOUR DE NESLE AFFAIR

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T our_de_Nesle_Affair

(52)

´´Louis’ second wife Clementia was pregnant at the time of his death, leaving the succession in doubt. A son would have primacy over Louis’ daughter, Joan<http://en.wikipedia.org/w iki/Joan_II_of_Navarre>.[32]<h ttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lo uis_X_of_France#cite_note-32> A daughter, however, would have a weaker claim to the throne, and would need to compete with Joan’s own claims – although suspicions hung over Joan’s parentage following the scandal in 1314´´

WIKIPEDIA
LOUIS X OF FRANCE

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L ouis_X_of_France

(53)

WIKIPEDIA
TOUR DE NESLE AFFAIR

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T our_de_Nesle_Affair

(54)

´´The French rejected the claim, maintaining that Isabella could not transmit a right which she did not possess.´´

WIKIPEDIA
HUNDRED YEAR´S WAR

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H undred_Years%27_War

(55)

´´ For about nine years (1328-1337), the English had accepted the Valois succession to the French throne. But the interference of the French king, Philip VI, in Edward III’s war against Scotland, led Edward III to reassert his claim to the French throne.
Several overwhelming English victories in the war—especially at Crecy<http://en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/Battle_of_Cr%C3%A9cy>, Poitiers<http://en.wikipedia.o rg/wiki/Battle_of_Poitiers>, and Agincourt<http://en.wikipedia. org/wiki/Battle_of_Agincourt>— raised the prospects of an ultimate English triumph. However, the greater resources of the French monarchy precluded a complete conquest. Starting in 1429, decisive French victories at Patay<http://en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/Battle_of_Patay>, Formigny<http://en.wikipedia.o rg/wiki/Battle_of_Formigny>, and Castillon<http://en.wikipedia. org/wiki/Battle_of_Castillon> concluded the war in favor of France, with England permanently losing most of its major possessions on the continent.´´

WIKIPEDIA
HUNDRED YEAR´S WAR

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H undred_Years%27_War

[56]

WIKIPEDIA
BLANCHE OF LANCASTER

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B lanche_of_Lancaster

[57]

WIKIPEDIA
EDMUND CROUCHBACK

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E dmund_Crouchback

[58]

WIKIPEDIA
HENRY III OF ENGLAND

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H enry_III_of_England

[59]

WIKIPEDIA
EDWARD I OF ENGLAND

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E dward_I_of_England

[60]

LANCASTER ”EDMUND CROUCHBACK”
CLAIM TO THE THRONE

YOUTUBE.COM<http://youtube.com />
CAUSES OF THE WARS OF THE ROSES
MARK GOACHER

https://www.youtube.com/watch? v=d2QgaRbIjzQ

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Rishi Sunak, UK Prime Minister/A Blessing and a Curse

New Prime Minister of the UK, Rishi Sunak, enters Downing Street for the first time, London, UK

DOWNLOAD PREVIEW

The New Prime Minister of the UK, Rishi Sunak, enters Downing Street for the first time, London, UK

RISHI SUNAK NEW UK PRIME MINISTER/A BLESSING AND A CURSE

”I will bring that same compassion to the challenges we face today.

The government I lead will not leave the next generation, your children and grandchildren, with a debt to settle that we were too weak to pay ourselves. 

I will unite our country, not with words, but with action. 

I will work day in and day out to deliver for you.

This government will have integrity, professionalism and accountability at every level.

Trust is earned. And I will earn yours.”

From the first speech of Rishi Sunak as a 

Prime Minister [1A]

https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/prime-minister-rishi-sunaks-statement-25-october-2022

What I secretly hoped for, happened:

On 25 november 2022, Rishi Sunak was appointed by king Charles III

as UK prime minister, making him the first British Asian prime minister

in the British history! [1]

I call it a Blessing and a Curse.

Why I call it a Blessing, the reader will soon know.

Why I call it a Curse, likewise.

WHAT HAPPENED BEFORE

Rishi Sunak, who had made career in the Conservative Party from

2014 [2] became UK’s Prime Minister after the former Conservative Prime

Minister, Liz Truss, made a mess of her prime ministership

with her ”cutting taxes for the riches” plan [together with

her Chancellor of the Exchequer, Kwasi Kwarteng], which even was

criticized by the IMF [3] and

had to resign after 45 days! [4]

AND ironically, Sunak initially lost the UK prime minister

race from Liz Truss…….[5]

And then, dramatically SHE vanished and HE won

CONSERVATIVE, RICH, AGAINST POOR AND REFUGEES

Look, I am not naive or either a Fool and I know exactly,

where the Conservative Party, which leader Rishi is now,

stands for:

This is the Party of the anti refugee ”pushbacks” [6] and other migration

regulating plans like the Rwanda deal and the favouritism for the ”Australian refugee system [7], from which human rights organisation Human Rights

Watch called ” abusive offshore processing policy” [8]

This is the Party, that wages war on the poor, not

just by the Kwarteng taxes advantage for the super-rich [9], but in general and decennialong.

By welfare cuts, driving poor people on the edge

of hunger [10], which, yet apart from the fundamental violation of social rights [11], reveals

contempt for the Poor [12]

And so was it in the Tory past….

Prime minister Margaret Thatcher, the ”Iron Lady” [13] destroyed the welfare state [14] and eventhough that’s a time ago, it’s worth remembring.

But back to Sunak:

That he is no Friend of the Poor, is obvious

Wasn’t it Sunak, who said [presently, in this year 2022, during the energy crisis], that it would be “silly” for the government to provide more help to struggling families now. Despite households across the country facing an average £700 ($879) increase in their gas and electricity bills immediately after April, with another 50 percent spike expected in October, Sunak said he won’t act before “knowing what the situation will be in autumn”…….[15]

YEAH, that’s easy for him to say, since his Family

income is worth more than £700 million ($879 million……..[16]

Some say, that Sunak is richer than the British Royal Family! [17]

Yet I don’t think this comparison is fair:

The British Royal Family was born into this wealth,

built his own Empire [18] and regardless men’s few

about capitalism [I certainly am NOT a fan of those

astronomic differences between the riches and

the poor, as my loyal readers should know] [19], I think it is an accomplishment

of a son of Indian immigrants, whose Indian grandparents migrated to East Africa firstly and

then to Great Britain, building up a newlife again. [20]

THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK
Yet there is another side to this Story.Because however true, that the Conservative Party and it’s new leader, Prime Minister Sunak, is noFriend of the poor and refugees [the most neglectedgroups in society], this is different,For whatever Tory Hardliner [Sunak is in favour ofthe infamous ”Rwanda deal” against refugees] [21],Sunak is also the first Indian UK Prime Minister.The first Man of Colour, who ever had the highestpolitical Office in England. [22]That means something.It is a Historical Achievement and made myskin crawl and not only me, but thousandsand thousands people of colour in England anddoubtless over the world! [23][Now that I write it, I feel that crawling again….]
BUT WHY IT GAVE ME THAT SKIN CRAWLINGAND IS THE SUNAK ELECTION SUCH A GRAVE ACHIEVEMENT
Because in a way, it is a Victory against the century long Western colonial oppression, not onlyof India [24], but all Asia, Africa, parts of South America and other parts of the World.It is ”The Empire strikes back” againstWhite Supremacy, against the White Man’s Burden doctrine [25]
And it is not just the colonial White Supremacy policy:Along came all the British colonial atrocities inIndia, in Africa, in the West Indies [26]Admitted:That is history, but it still has it’s consequences:It still bears bitter Fruits in institutional racism,in opression, in poverty and uneqality [27],not only in England, in all Western countries,once colonial Powers.And of course not all is due to colonialismand racism:Hardline capitalism plays it’s ugly part too.And affects many poor white people too.I don’t close my eyes to that.
Back to Rishi SunakThe Bitter Fruits of racism, stemming from colonialism and the Western slavery ridden”concept of race” [28], were tasted by Rishi Sunakhimself:I quote him:

“I was just out with my younger brother and younger sister, and I think, probably pretty young, I was probably a mid-teenager, and we were out at a fast food restaurant and I was just looking after them. There were people sitting nearby, it was the first time I’d experienced it, just saying some very unpleasant things. The ‘P’ word.” 

“And it stung. I still remember it. It seared in my memory. You can be insulted in many different ways.” [29]

Painful indeed and reading this, one must realize what a 

great achievement it has been, descended from Indian immigrants and tasting racist experiences, not only relatively

”silly” remarks from stupid people in a restaurant, or store, or neighbourhood, but also in real challenges like discrimination in

the job market and in other cases, important in someone’s life,

to climb up in a Party like the Conservative Party and eventually:

Reaching the highest political position in the former Colonial

Motherland:

England.

A Motherland, which had in her clubs in India the rule

[this is NO joke, but real]

‘Dogs and Indians not allowed” [30]

EPILOGUE

I wrote it in the title of this article:”

RISHI SUNAK NEW UK PRIME MINISTER/A BLESSING AND A CURSE”

and that’s just the way I feel it, and with me, others also, as well rejoicing that a man of colour has the highest UK political position, as pointing out  the fact, that although an Indian man of colour, he defends Conservative Tory interests, which are clearly not advantageous to the poor Indian community, black community or the communities of other people of colour [31]

BUT YET:

From ”’Dogs and Indians not allowed” [32] tothe Rishi Sunak first speech as a UK PrimeMinister [33], is a great step and an achievementthat crawls my skin.

A sort of Poetical Justice

ASTRID ESSED
NOTES

NOTES 1A T/M 33

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First Speech of king Charles III as a Monarch/Tribute to his mother Queen Elizabeth II

King Charles IIIIMAGE SOURCE,GETTY IMAGES

At the moment the Queen died, the throne passed immediately and without ceremony to the heir, Charles, the former Prince of Wales.

FIRST SPEECH OF KING CHARLES III AS A MONARCH/A TRIBUTE

TO HIS MOTHER QUEEN ELIZABETH II

KING CHARLES III DELIVERS HIS FIRST SPEECH AS MONARCH

https://www.townandcountrymag.com/society/tradition/a41122583/king-charles-iii-first-speech-transcript/

King Charles III has officially delivered his first speech as British monarch. In an address recorded in the Blue Drawing Room at Buckingham Palace earlier this afternoon, Charles spoke of his beloved mother, who he said always saw the best in people, and promised his lifelong service.

“I shall endeavor to serve you with loyalty, respect, and love,” he said.

Here, read King Charles

Here, read King Charles III’s first speech in full:

I speak to you today with feelings of profound sorrow. Throughout her life, Her Majesty The Queen – my beloved Mother – was an inspiration and example to me and to all my family, and we owe her the most heartfelt debt any family can owe to their mother; for her love, affection, guidance, understanding and example. Queen Elizabeth was a life well lived; a promise with destiny kept and she is mourned most deeply in her passing. That promise of lifelong service I renew to you all today.

Alongside the personal grief that all my family are feeling, we also share with so many of you in the United Kingdom, in all the countries where The Queen was Head of State, in the Commonwealth and across the world, a deep sense of gratitude for the more than seventy years in which my Mother, as Queen, served the people of so many nations.

In 1947, on her twenty-first birthday, she pledged in a broadcast from Cape Town to the Commonwealth to devote her life, whether it be short or long, to the service of her peoples. That was more than a promise: it was a profound personal commitment which defined her whole life. She made sacrifices for duty. Her dedication and devotion as Sovereign never wavered, through times of change and progress, through times of joy and celebration, and through times of sadness and loss. In her life of service we saw that abiding love of tradition, together with that fearless embrace of progress, which make us great as Nations. The affection, admiration and respect she inspired became the hallmark of her reign. And, as every member of my family can testify, she combined these qualities with warmth, humour and an unerring ability always to see the best in people.

I pay tribute to my Mother’s memory and I honour her life of service. I know that her death brings great sadness to so many of you and I share that sense of loss, beyond measure, with you all. When The Queen came to the throne, Britain and the world were still coping with the privations and aftermath of the Second World War, and still living by the conventions of earlier times. In the course of the last seventy years we have seen our society become one of many cultures and many faiths. The institutions of the State have changed in turn. But, through all changes and challenges, our nation and the wider family of Realms – of whose talents, traditions and achievements I am so inexpressibly proud – have prospered and flourished. Our values have remained, and must remain, constant.

The role and the duties of Monarchy also remain, as does the Sovereign’s particular relationship and responsibility towards the Church of England – the Church in which my own faith is so deeply rooted. In that faith, and the values it inspires, I have been brought up to cherish a sense of duty to others, and to hold in the greatest respect the precious traditions, freedoms and responsibilities of our unique history and our system of parliamentary government. As The Queen herself did with such unswerving devotion, I too now solemnly pledge myself, throughout the remaining time God grants me, to uphold the Constitutional principles at the heart of our nation. And wherever you may live in the United Kingdom, or in the Realms and territories across the world, and whatever may be your background or beliefs, I shall endeavour to serve you with loyalty, respect and love, as I have throughout my life.

My life will of course change as I take up my new responsibilities. It will no longer be possible for me to give so much of my time and energies to the charities and issues for which I care so deeply. But I know this important work will go on in the trusted hands of others. This is also a time of change for my family. I count on the loving help of my darling wife, Camilla. In recognition of her own loyal public service since our marriage seventeen years ago, she becomes my Queen Consort. I know she will bring to the demands of her new role the steadfast devotion to duty on which I have come to rely so much.

As my Heir, William now assumes the Scottish titles which have meant so much to me. He succeeds me as Duke of Cornwall and takes on the responsibilities for the Duchy of Cornwall which I have undertaken for more than five decades. Today, I am proud to create him Prince of Wales, Tywysog Cymru, the country whose title I have been so greatly privileged to bear during so much of my life and duty. With Catherine beside him, our new Prince and Princess of Wales will, I know, continue to inspire and lead our national conversations, helping to bring the marginal to the centre ground where vital help can be given. I want also to express my love for Harry and Meghan as they continue to build their lives overseas.

In a little over a week’s time we will come together as a nation, as a Commonwealth and indeed a global community, to lay my beloved mother to rest. In our sorrow, let us remember and draw strength from the light of her example. On behalf of all my family, I can only offer the most sincere and heartfelt thanks for your condolences and support. They mean more to me than I can ever possibly express.

And to my darling Mama, as you begin your last great journey to join my dear late Papa, I want simply to say this: thank you. Thank you for your love and devotion to our family and to the family of nations you have served so diligently all these years. May “flights of Angels sing thee to thy rest”..

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My Condolences on the death of Queen Elizabeth II/End of an Era

https://www.royal.uk/search?tags%5B0%5D=Buckingham%20Palace
https://www.royal.uk/search?tags%5B0%5D=Buckingham%20Palace

CONDOLENCES

Hereby I express my condolences to the British Royal Family with

the loss of their mother, grandmother and greatgrandmother.

Queen Elizabeth was a very remarkable and steadfast Queen, who, although

born in 1926 and a Daughter of her Time, was quite capable to meet the

challenges of the Modern Times, with all the changes, made from her

coronation as a Queen in 1952 untill 2022.

I find it extraordinary, that She was capable to function as a Queen 

to the bitter end, despite of all the bitter moments she had to face in

her long life, next to the many moments of happiness.

I think in her last years she especially took joy in her greatgrandchildren,

a Blessing not everyone sees in her/his life.

Much respect for her Dignity and Grace.

From Empress Maud [William the Conqueror’s granddaughter]

to Queen Elizabeth.

All respect for the English Power Ladies, who were Queens by Right.

Wishing King Charles III much wisdom, power, dignity and special

attention for the vulnerable people in England and the World.

I repeat the beautiful words king Charles III spoke in

his Speech and Tribute to his Mother:

And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest!”

[Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Act 5, Scene 2, best friend

Horatio on the death of Hamlet]

ASTRID ESSED

AMSTERDAM

THE NETHERLANDS

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Astrid Essed insists: Red Cross, please give me information about your present [2022] involvement with the refugees, trapped between Poland and Belarus

The Massini family from Syria, father Muhammad (second left), mother Alaa (centre) and their two sons, with activists

The Massini family from Syria, father Muhammad (second left), mother Alaa (centre) and their two sons, with activists. Photograph: Wojtek Radwański/AFP/Getty Images
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/nov/07/on-the-frozen-frontiers-of-europe-with-the-migrants-caught-in-a-lethal-game

Fallen tree in the Białowieża Forest

Bialowieza National Park in Poland0029.JPG
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bia%C5%82owie%C5%BCa_Forest

REFUGEES, TRAPPED BETWEEN POLAND AND BELARUS

War of Russia against Ukraine. War refugees in Ukraine. KYIV, UKRAINE - Mar. 05, 2022: War of Russia against Ukraine. Women, old people and children evacuated stock images

UKRAINIAN REFUGEES

ASTRID ESSED INSISTS: RED CROSS, PLEASE GIVE ME INFORMATION

ABOUT YOUR PRESENT [2022] INVOLVEMENT WITH REFUGEES, TRAPPED BETWEEN POLAND AND BELARUS

INTRODUCTION:

The attentive reader may have red my Letter to the International Red Cross

about their involvement with refugees, who are [sinds last year, 2021] trapped

between the borders of Poland and Belarus.

I especially wrote this letter, since I was, based on reliable information, under

the impression, that the Red Cross, however great their involvement

with the Poland-Belarus refugees in 2021 [for which I’ve complimented them],

may possibly have had less attention for the trapped refugees, due to the Ukraine crisis. 

See my Letter under note 1, below, in which I posed some questions

regarding the Red Cross involvement in 2022. 

To my pleasant surprise, the Committee of the Red Cross responded

my mail, despite their busy time schedule and their answer partly satisfied me,

regarding their showed involvement with those refugees.

However, the joint statement they sent me, regarding their involvement

was from november 2021 [2] and mentioned nothing about their PRESENT,

2022 involvement.

Reason for me to write the Red Cross again, to ask again about their involvement with the trapped refugees in 2022!

In the middle of all right attention to the Ukrainian refugees and their desperate

flight for the Russian invasion, other refugees, like those trapped in the middle

of the no man’s land somewhere between Poland and Belarus, must not

be forgotten.

I see it as my task to remind the International Red Cross to that.

Because even good organisations can make mistakes

First the notes

Then my first mail to the Red Cross [A]

Then the answer of the Red Cross [B]

Below the answer, my reaction to the answer to the Red

Cross, in text and mail [C]

ENJOY, READERS!

ASTRID ESSED

NOTES

[1]

THE INTERNATIONAL RED CROSS, THE UKRAINIAN REFUGEES,

TRAPPED BETWEEN POLAND AND BELARUS, DO YOU TREAT THEM

WITH EQUAL ATTENTION, RED CROSS?

ASTRID ESSED

[2]


ICRC AND IFCR ON MIGRATION CRISIS AT THE BORDERS

BETWEEN BELARUS, POLAND, LITHUANIA AND OTHER COUNTRIES

18 NOVEMBER 2021

https://www.icrc.org/en/document/icrc-ifrc-migration-crisis-borders

A

FIRST ASTRID ESSED MAIL TO THE RED CROSS

THE INTERNATIONAL RED CROSS, THE UKRAINIAN REFUGEES,

TRAPPED BETWEEN POLAND AND BELARUS, DO YOU TREAT THEM

WITH EQUAL ATTENTION, RED CROSS?

ASTRID ESSED

B

ANSWER OF THE INTERNATIONAL RED CROSS TO THE

FIRST ASTRID ESSED MAIL [SEE ABOVE, UNDER A]

On Tuesday, June 7, 2022, 07:50:49 PM GMT+2, GVA Inquiries Mailbox <inquiries@icrc.org> wrote:

Dear Astrid

Thank you for your sharing your concerns with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and apologies for the delayed answer. We are receiving hundreds of messages and doing our best to answer all of them.

We took note of your opinions and we highly value your feedback about our work. 

We work in over 100 contexts affected by armed conflict and violence. Our largest operations are in countries such as Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan, South Sudan, Somalia, and Ethiopia. In Ukraine, our work began in 2014 when the conflict started, and our presence in the country has grown since 24 February. 

As you mention in your message, the horror of the crisis in Ukraine shouldn’t make the world forget that people suffering continues in other parts of the world, where millions are still relying on humanitarian assistance to access their basic needs.   

We have followed the situation you mention closely and have supported the work that the National Red Cross Societies, their volunteers and other organizations are doing to help refugees. In 2021 we issued this joint press release: ICRC and IFRC on migration crisis at the borders between Belarus, Poland, Lithuania and other countries. In the statement, we expressed our alarm about the humanitarian tragedy unfolding and asked for unrestricted access for all organizations.

If you have specific questions about the situation of refugees, the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) may be able to provide more information in this regard.

For more information about our work in Ukraine, please visit our website Humanitarian crisis in Ukraine. Information for people affected by the conflict is available here.

We hope this has helped clarify your concerns

Sincerely yours, 

The ICRC team

International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)

19, avenue de la Paix, 1202 Geneva, Switzerland

www.icrc.org

Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | TikTok

C

ASTRID ESSED REACTION TO THE ANSWER OF THE INTERNATIONAL

RED CROSS [SEE UNDER B]

ANSWER IN TEXT AND IN ORIGINAL MAIL

C1 

IN TEXT

TO:

THE ICRC TEAM

International Committee of the Red Cross

Subject:

Reaction to your mail dd 7 june and a repetition of my question

about the present [2022] Red Cross involvement regarding the situation

of the refugees, who are trapped between the borders of Poland and Belarus,

since your answer to me was referring to the situation of 2021 only.

See also my earlier mail to you on which you have responded

Dear Committee,

I appreciate your relatively quick reaction on my recent mail [27 may 2022],

knowing your very busy time schedule.

I also appreciate your concern, following my mail on 27 may, that the attention for the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine should not overshadow your concern

for other humanitarian drama’s.

In my letter I especially mentioned the dramatic humanitarian needs of

those refugees, who are still trapped between the borders of Belarus and Poland.I quote from your mail:”

As you mention in your message, the horror of the crisis in Ukraine shouldn’t make the world forget that people suffering continues in other parts of the world, where millions are still relying on humanitarian assistance to access their basic needs. ”I had noticed that before, since I mentioned inmy mail to you the statement of mr F Rocca, presidentof the International Federation of Red Cross and Red CrescentSocieties, that there should be no difference in the receptionand protection of refugees, whether they are Ukrainians orcoming from other countries [1]
And in my former mail, I’ve also referred to the Good Work, done by the American Red Cross and the Finnish Red Cross  and doubtless other sections of the Red Cross regarding the refugees, trapped between Poland and Belarus [2] and I complimented you with that.
As reaction on my mail to you, you referred to your Joint PressRelease of 2021, titled: ”ICRC and IFCR on migration crisisat the borders between Belarus, Lithuania and other countries” [3]I was impressed, as by the Work of the American Red Cross andthe Finnish Red Cross and I fully supported your statement,especially this part [I quote you]”

All migrants, irrespective of their legal status, should have effective access to humanitarian assistance and medical assistance, as well as to protection. Whether this is international protection, or a voluntary return to their home countries, migrants’ rights should be respected at all times and authorities should avoid separating family members and putting at risk their lives and physical integrity.” [4]

True humanity and something the EU leaders should

reflect on.

HOWEVER:

[And reason for my reaction on your answer to me]

That is NOT what I asked you for.

Since you referred to the situation in 2021 and I am

anxious to know about PRESENT the situation, the

situation in 2022, of the

refugees, trapped between Poland and Belarus [and

as I now understand, also Lithuania]

Perhaps I didn’t make that clear in my first mail to you?

Then I will do it now and repeat my questions:Based on the Statement of Amnesty Internationalon 11th of april 2022, the situation of thosetrapped between the Poland-Belarus border is direSee their statement: 

POLAND/BELARUS: NEW EVIDENCE OF ABUSES HIGHLIGHTS 

”HYPOCRISY” OF UNEQUAL TREATMENT OF ASYLUM SEEKERS

AND the Amnesty report ”POLAND: CRUELTY, NOT COMPASSION, AT EUROPE’S OTHER BORDERS”  [5]

MY QUESTIONS ABOUT THE RED CROSS INVOLVEMENT

WITH THE MENTIONED REFUGEES IN 2022:

My questions refer to the PRESENT, 2022 ICRC involvement with

the refugees, who are trapped between the Poland-Belarus border,

as mentioned in my first mail [6]

I REPEAT:

 I had the impression, that on this moment, the main attention

of the International Cross goes to the Ukrainian refugees [7] and that the

trapped refugees between Poland and Belarus are somewhat forgotten.

When I am wrong, please send me the information about

your involvement in the no one land between those borders on this

moment, 2022.

When I am NOT wrong, please explain to me, why the International

Red Cross shows less attention to those refugees:

Are you being hindered in your activities, something volunteers have experienced in the past months? [8]

And if that’s so, what did you do, as an International Organisation, to

address to this situation?

Did you write to the Polish and Belarussian authorities?

Did you gave press conferences about this?

Did you try to visit the Polish detention centres, where, according to the

information of Amnesty International, the border refugees are being

mistreated and denied their right to asylum? [9]

If not, why not?

Because you are hindered in your activities?

And again the question:

If you are hindered in your activities, what did you do to protest and get access anyway, as

is your right and obligation as the International Red Cross?

Those are my questions, in short

I would appreciate your reaction, but if you are pressed with time,

the only thing I want is to recall the dire situation those refugees

are in and to urge your humanitarian involvement with them, also

now, in 2022, since their situation doesn’t seem to be more humane now.

Thank you for your involvement

Kind greetings

Astrid Essed

Amsterdam 

The Netherlands

NOTES

[1]

IFRC PRESIDENT: ETHNICITY AND NATIONALITY SHOULD NOT

BE DECIDING FACTORS IN SAVING LIVES

16 MAY 2022

PRESS RELEASE

https://www.ifrc.org/press-release/ifrc-president-ethnicity-and-nationality-should-not-be-deciding-factors-saving-lives

New York / Geneva, 16 May 2022 – President of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) Francesco Rocca calls on states to step up to their responsibility to save lives, no matter where people are from, ahead of the first review of the Global Compact for Migration (GCM).

Mr Rocca says: “When I was in Marrakech for the adoption of the GCM I made a statement that the world’s approach to migration is painfully broken – but that the GCM can fix it. As we begin the first review of the progress made since then, I am sad to say that this has not been the case so far. Not enough changes to policies and practices to ensure safe and dignified migration have taken place, and many more lives have been lost due to that failure to act.”

On the world’s deadliest sea migration route, the central Mediterranean, the number of deaths has in fact increased since the GCM was signed. The Ocean Viking ship, operated by SOS Mediterranée with IFRC providing humanitarian services on board, saves people in distress on this route.

“We need to carry out this work as state-coordinated search and rescue is absent in the area,” says Mr Rocca. “Our teams have already saved 1,260 people in the nine months we’ve been operating.”

The Ocean Viking is one of the 330 Humanitarian Service Points (HSPs) in 45 countries that supports the ambitions of the GCM, providing assistance and protection to people on the move irrespective of status and without fear of reprisal. The Romanian Red Cross implements HSPs in Bucharest to support people fleeing Ukraine, providing information, food, water, hygiene items and financial assistance, while the Hungarian Red Cross has been operating a HSP at the Keleti railway station 24/7 to welcome people arriving from Ukraine by train with information, food, hygiene items and baby care products.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Colombian Red Cross Society has implemented HSPs at the border with Venezuela, offering essential services like healthcare, while Libyan Red Crescent volunteers have provided support to migrants and displaced people, operating HSPs that provided access to information, food, and other necessities, as well as restoring family links services.

At the International Migration Review Forum (IMRF), the IFRC is calling for individual and collective efforts on search and rescue; ensuring access to essential services for migrants regardless of status; scaling up support to people affected of climate related displacement; and the inclusion of migrants in all aspects of society and decision making.

“The political, public and humanitarian response to the Ukraine crisis has shown what is possible when humanity and dignity comes first, when there is global solidarity and the will to assist and protect the most vulnerable,” says Mr Rocca. “This must be extended to everyone in need, wherever they come from. Ethnicity and nationality should not be deciding factors in saving lives.”

[2]

AMERICAN RED CROSS

THOUSANDS AT BELARUS BORDER IN NEED

OF HUMANITARIAN AID

https://www.redcross.org/about-us/news-and-events/news/2021/thousands-at-belarus-border-in-need-of-humanitarian-aid.html

November 15, 2021

The Red Cross is urgently providing relief efforts as thousands of people risk their lives in freezing conditions along the Belarus-Poland border. At least 10 people have died and an estimated 2,000 people are living in makeshift camps near the border between Belarus and neighboring countries Poland, Lithuania and Latvia. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) urges unhindered access to the border be provided to help the men, women and children risking their lives for a safer future. 

Belarus Red Cross has been coordinating aid from partners since last week, distributing food, water, blankets and warm clothes. Staff and volunteers are involved in a continuous response to the situation, sorting and distributing packages, as well as helping authorities set up heating tents for women and children. Assistance was also provided for three children who were hospitalized.

“We are concerned about the increasingly serious situation on the Poland-Belarus border, after large groups of migrants arrived there on November 8. We call for access for the Red Cross and other humanitarian organizations so that all people in need, at the border and other locations, can receive medical treatment, humanitarian assistance and protection services,” said Andreas von Weissenberg, IFRC Europe’s head of Disasters, Climate and Crises.

“While Belarus Red Cross has thankfully been given some access to provide vital life-saving aid to people enduring hunger and freezing conditions, we need that access to be regular and also get access on the other side of the border. People need to be treated humanely,” von Weissenberg said.

The Polish Red Cross has been responding to this crisis for several weeks, delivering blankets, sleeping bags and clothes. Local branches are supporting migrants in provinces near the border with food, water and hygiene kits, as well as providing first aid and helping people trace family members.

Lithuanian Red Cross teams have also been supporting migrants close to the border with water, hygiene kits, footwear and clothing, as well as toys for children. In five large reception centers, volunteers provide food and other humanitarian aid, offer psychological support and legal assistance and help people reconnect with their loved ones by providing mobile phones and SIM cards.

IFRC is in the process of providing the Belarus Red Cross, Polish Red Cross and Lithuanian Red Cross with emergency funding to support the migrants with food, clothes, hygiene items, first aid and family reunification services.

“Humanitarian organizations must be granted unconditional and safe access to all people in need, irrespective of their legal status. People are crossing the border with just the clothes on their backs. They need food, medicine, hygiene items, clothing, and protective equipment against COVID-19. We must be allowed to deliver critical assistance and we want to see a peaceful, humane and rights-based solution to the situation,” von Weissenberg concluded. 

THE FINISH RED CROSS

THE RED CROSS IS HELPING MIGRANTS STRUGGLING IN

DANGEROUS CONDITIONS AT THE EU’S EASTERN BORDER

24 NOVEMBER 2021

https://www.redcross.fi/news/2021/the-red-cross-is-helping-migrants-struggling-in-dangerous-conditions-at-the-eus-eastern-border/

The situation of migrants trying to enter the EU at the border of Poland, Lithuania and Belarus is alarming. Thousands of migrants have been stuck on the border region since early autumn. The situation of people sleeping without shelter is expected to worsen as the winter approaches.

The Belarusian, Polish and Lithuanian Red Cross organisations are helping migrants at the borders by distributing food, clean water, hygiene supplies, clothes and blankets and by offering essential health care.

The health of the people sleeping rough is at continuous risk. At least 10 people are known to have died. Among them, a 14-year-old boy who died of hypothermia.

“There are hundreds of children at the border, many of whom have been separated from their families. The are also pregnant women and disabled people among the migrants. Their situation is worsening by the hour as the crisis drags on and nights become colder,” says the Director of International Operations at the Finnish Red Cross Tiina Saarikoski.

“All states are obliged to ensure that humanitarian aid gets through to its target. People have the right to necessary protection, care and safety, regardless of whether they are granted the right to stay in the country or not.”

The International Committee of the Red Cross helps migrants establish contact with their family members. 

The Finnish Red Cross maintains preparedness for large-scale migration as part of its continuous readiness. As agreed with the authorities, the Red Cross is permanently prepared to establish and maintain reception centres and temporary accommodation units at the request of the authorities.

The Finnish Red Cross has not received official requests in relation to the situation in Poland, Lithuania and Belarus. 
 
“The most important thing right now is to deliver necessary aid to the migrants in unsafe conditions and allow humanitarian operators to provide aid,” Saarikoski emphasises. 

[3]

ICRC AND IFCR ON MIGRATION CRISIS AT THE BORDERS

BETWEEN BELARUS, POLAND, LITHUANIA AND OTHER COUNTRIES

18 NOVEMBER 2021

https://www.icrc.org/en/document/icrc-ifrc-migration-crisis-borders

Unrestricted and safe humanitarian access urgently needed to save lives and alleviate suffering.

STATEMENT18 NOVEMBER 2021

Budapest/Geneva – November 18, 2021 — The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) are alarmed by the humanitarian tragedy unfolding at the borders between Belarus, Poland and Lithuania. At least 10 people are known to have died, including a 14-year-old boy due to hypothermia. The situation is set to worsen with the most serious winter weather yet to arrive.

IFRC has allocated more than 1 million Swiss Francs to Belarus Red Cross, Polish Red Cross and Lithuanian Red Cross, whose volunteers and staff are assisting thousands of vulnerable people with food, water, blankets and vital medical assistance. ICRC is complementing the response, providing support and additional technical expertise to Red Cross partners, notably to keep migrants in contact with their relatives and other protection-related issues.

Birgitte Ebbesen, IFRC Regional Director for Europe said, “There are extremely vulnerable people at the border, including people with disabilities, pregnant women, and hundreds of children – many of them without a parent or family member. They have been sleeping rough in freezing conditions for many days now.”

“Our volunteers have been able to provide some assistance, but many are still hungry and cold. These are mothers, sisters, sons and daughters, people whose lives matter, and they should be protected and treated with compassion and dignity.”

Martin Schüepp, ICRC Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia said: “To protect people’s lives, health and dignity, as well as ease suffering and prevent further tragedy, all Red Cross Red Crescent Movement partners and other humanitarian organisations need immediate, unrestricted access to all migrants, including at borders.”

“The ICRC is providing support and additional technical expertise to our Red Cross partners, on reuniting people with separated family members and other protection-related issues.”

All migrants, irrespective of their legal status, should have effective access to humanitarian assistance and medical assistance, as well as to protection. Whether this is international protection, or a voluntary return to their home countries, migrants’ rights should be respected at all times and authorities should avoid separating family members and putting at risk their lives and physical integrity.

[4]

”All migrants, irrespective of their legal status, should have effective access to humanitarian assistance and medical assistance, as well as to protection. Whether this is international protection, or a voluntary return to their home countries, migrants’ rights should be respected at all times and authorities should avoid separating family members and putting at risk their lives and physical integrity.”

ICRC AND IFCR ON MIGRATION CRISIS AT THE BORDERS

BETWEEN BELARUS, POLAND, LITHUANIA AND OTHER COUNTRIES

18 NOVEMBER 2021

https://www.icrc.org/en/document/icrc-ifrc-migration-crisis-borders

SEE FOR FULL TEXT, NOTE 3

[5]

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL

POLAND/BELARUS: NEW EVIDENCE OF ABUSES HIGHLIGHTS 

”HYPOCRISY” OF UNEQUAL TREATMENT OF ASYLUM SEEKERS

11 APRIL 2022

Poland/Belarus: New evidence of abuses highlights ‘hypocrisy’ of unequal treatment of asylum-seekers 

  • Authorities violating rights of asylum-seekers, including strip searches and other degrading treatment, in overcrowded detention centres
  • Some people forcibly sedated during return
  • Pushbacks and arbitrary detention in stark contrast with welcome shown to those fleeing Ukraine
  • Spokespeople available

The Polish authorities have arbitrarily detained nearly two thousand asylum-seekers who crossed into the country from Belarus in 2021, and subjected many of them to abuse, including strip searches in unsanitary, overcrowded facilities, and in some cases even to forcible sedation and tasering, Amnesty International said today.

Additionally, after a hiatus during winter, more asylum-seekers are now trying to enter Poland from Belarus, where they are unable to access further funds due to international sanctions and risk harassment or apprehension by Belarusian police due their irregular immigration status. At the Polish border they face razor wire fences and repeated pushbacks by border guards sometimes up to 20-30 times.

“This violent and degrading treatment stands in stark contrast to the warm welcome Poland is offering to displaced people arriving from Ukraine. The behaviour of the Polish authorities smacks of racism and hypocrisy. Poland must urgently extend its admirable compassion for those entering the country from Ukraine to all those crossing its borders to seek safety.”

Arbitrary detention and abysmal detention conditions

Polish border guards have systematically rounded up and violently pushed back people crossing from Belarus, sometimes threatening them with guns. The vast majority of those who have been fortunate enough to avoid being pushed back to Belarus and to apply for asylum in Poland are forced into automatic detention, without a proper assessment of their individual situation and the impact detention would have on their physical and mental health. They are often held for prolonged and indefinite periods of time in overcrowded centres that offer little privacy and only limited access to sanitary facilities, doctors, psychologists, or legal assistance.

Almost all of the people Amnesty International interviewed said they were  traumatized after fleeing areas of conflict and being trapped for months on the Belarusian-Polish border. They also suffered from serious psychological problems, including anxiety, insomnia, depression and frequent suicidal thoughts, undoubtedly exacerbated by their unnecessary metres. For most, psychological support was unavailable.

Retraumatized inside a military base

Many of the people who Amnesty spoke to had been in Wędrzyn detention centre, which holds up to 600 people. Overcrowding is particularly acute in this facility, where up to 24 men are detained in rooms measuring just eight square metres.

In 2021, the Polish authorities decreased the minimum required space for foreign detainees from three square meters per person to just two. The Council of Europe minimum standard for personal living space in prisons and detention centres is four square meters per person.

People held in Wędrzyn recounted how guards greeted new detainees  by saying “welcome to Guantánamo”. Many of them were victims of torture in their home countries before enduring harrowing experiences both in Belarus and on the border of Poland. The detention centre in Wędrzyn forms part of an active military base. The facility’s barbed wire walls — and the persistent sound of armoured vehicles, helicopters and gunfire from military exercises in the area — only serves to retraumatize them.

In Lesznowola Detention Centre, detainees said that guards’ treatment left them feeling dehumanized. The staff called detainees by their case numbers instead of using their names and meted out excessive punishments, including isolation, for simple requests, such as asking for a towel or more food.

Nearly all those interviewed reported consistently disrespectful and verbally abusive behaviour, racist remarks and other practices that indicated psychological ill-treatment. 

Men who Amnesty International interviewed uniformly  complained about the manner in which body searches were  conducted. When people were  transferred from one detention centre to another, they were forced to undergo a strip search at each facility, even though they were in state custody at all times. In Wędrzyn, people recounted abusive searches. For example, all newly admitted foreigners are kept together in a room, required to remove all of their clothes and ordered to perform squats longer than necessary for a legitimate check.

Violent forcible returns

Amnesty International interviewed several people who were forcibly returned as well as some who avoided return and remain in detention in Poland. Many said the Polish border guards who conducted the returns coerced them into signing documents in Polish that they suspected included incriminating information in order to justify their returns. They also said that, in some cases, border guards used excessive force, such as tasers, restrained people with handcuffs, and even sedated those being returned. 

Authorities attempted to forcibly return Yezda, a 30-year old Kurdish woman , with her husband and three small children. After being told that the family would be returned to Iraq, Yezda panicked and screamed and pleaded with the guards not to take them. She threatened to take her life and became extremely agitated. “I knew I could not go back to Iraq and I was ready to die in Poland. While I was crying like that, two guards restrained me and my husband, tied our hands behind our backs, and a doctor gave us an injection that made us very weak and sleepy. My head was not clear, but I could hear my children, who were in the room with us, crying and screaming.”

“We were asked to go through the airport security and the guards told us to behave on the plane. But I refused to go. I remember noticing that I didn’t even have any shoes on, as in the chaos at the camp, they slipped of my feet. My head was not clear, and I couldn’t see my husband or the children, but I remember that they forced me on the plane that was full of people. I was still crying and pleading with the police not to take us.” Yezda said that she broke her foot as she fought the guards who tried to put her on the plane. Yezda and her family were returned to Warsaw after the airline refused to take them to Iraq. They remain in a camp in Poland for now.

Volunteers and activists have been barred from accessing the border of Poland and Belarus, and some have even faced prosecution for trying to help people cross the border. In March, activists who had helped people both on Poland’s borders with Ukraine and with Belarus were detained for providing life-saving assistance to refugees and migrants on the Belarussian border, and now face potentially serious charges.

Stranded at the border

On 20 March, the Belarusian authorities reportedly evicted close to 700 refugees and migrants, including many families with young children and people suffering from severe illnesses and disabilities, from the warehouse in the Belarusian village of Bruzgi which had accommodated several thousand people in 2021.

People who were evicted from the warehouse suddenly found themselves stranded in the forest, trying to survive in sub-zero temperatures without shelter, food, water or access to medical care. Many remain in the forest and experience daily abuse from the Belarusian border guards, who use dogs and violence to force people to cross the border into Poland.

“Hundreds of people fleeing conflict in the Middle East and other parts of the world remain stranded on the border between Belarus and Poland. The Polish government must immediately stop pushbacks. They are illegal no matter how the government tries to justify them. The international community – including the EU – must demand that those trapped on Poland’s border with Belarus be afforded the same access to EU territory as any other group seeking refuge in Europe,” said Jelena Sesar.

END OF THE ARTICLE

REPORT AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL

POLAND: CRUELTY, NOT COMPASSION, AT EUROPE’S OTHER BORDERS

11 APRIL 2022

The rapid relief effort at the border, exceptional generosity of civil society and willingness of Polish authorities to receive people fleeing from Ukraine contrast starkly with the Polish government’s hostility toward refugees and migrants who have arrived in the country via Belarus since July 2021. Hundreds of people who crossed from Belarus have been arbitrarily detained in Poland in appalling conditions and without access to a fair asylum proceeding. Many have been forcibly returned to their countries of origin, some under sedation. In addition, hundreds of people remain stranded inside Belarus and face increasingly desperate conditions.

END OF THIS PIECE

FULL REPORT

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL

POLAND: CRUELTY, NOT COMPASSION, AT EUROPE’S OTHER BORDERS

11 APRIL 2022

https://www.amnesty.org/en/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/EUR3754602022ENGLISH.pdf

[6]

THE INTERNATIONAL RED CROSS, THE UKRAINIAN REFUGEES

AND THE REFUGEES, TRAPPED BETWEEN POLAND AND BELARUS/

DO YOU TREAT THEM WITH EQUAL ATTENTION, RED CROSS?

ASTRID ESSED

[7]

THE INTERNATIONAL RED CROSS 

HUMANITARIAN CRISIS IN UKRAINE AND NEIGHBOURING

COUNTRIES

https://www.icrc.org/en/humanitarian-crisis-ukraine

IFRC SCALES UP CASH ASSISTANCE TO PEOPLE IMPACTED

BY CONFLICT IN UKRAINE

23 MAY 2022

https://www.ifrc.org/article/ifrc-scales-cash-assistance-people-impacted-conflict-ukraine

Three months into the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) has distributed financial assistance totalling more than 4.3 million Swiss francs to thousands of people on the move.

IFRC Head of Emergency Operations for the Ukraine response, Anne Katherine Moore, said:

“The longer the conflict continues, the greater the needs become. The cost of basic necessities, such as fresh fruit and vegetables, is rising. Increases in the cost of fuel and apartment rentals are also being reported. Millions of people have lost their jobs and their savings are dwindling. Through a new mobile app, we have been able to ramp up our support to help people facing these financial challenges.”

The new technology makes it possible for the IFRC and responding National Societies to reach people at scale and to deliver cash assistance digitally. Successfully introduced in Romania, the mobile app allows refugees to self-register for assistance online, negating the need and cost involved of having to travel to a central location.

The app will soon be expanded to Poland and Slovakia, where cash assistance is already being provided through more traditional methods such as in-person registration, as well as Ukraine and other neighbouring countries.

“This is the fastest we have ever delivered cash at this scale. It has the potential to be a game-changer for our work not just in this response, but also in future operations,” Moore continued.

Cash assistance is a dignified and efficient way to support people impacted by the conflict, allowing them to purchase items specific to their individual needs, while also supporting local economies. It is one part of our integrated and wide-ranging Red Cross and Red Crescent response to the conflict that also includes the provision of health care, first aid, psychosocial support and the distribution of basic household necessities.

Speaking about next steps, Moore said: “There is no short-term solution to the needs of the more than 14 million people who have been forced to flee their homes. We know that even if the conflict was to end tomorrow, rebuilding and recovery will take years. People have lost their homes, their livelihoods, and access to timely healthcare. The IFRC, in support of local National Red Cross Societies in the region, will be there helping people now, and in the months and years to come.”

During the past three months:
  • Together, we have reached more than 2.1 million people with life-saving aid within Ukraine and in surrounding countries. This is 1 in 10 people who had to flee their homes because of the conflict.
  • Along the travel routes within and outside Ukraine, we’ve set up 142 Humanitarian Service Points in 15 countries to provide those fleeing with a safe environment. There, they receive essential services like food, hygiene items, blankets, clothing water, first aid, psychosocial support, information, and financial assistance.
  • In total, we distributed 2.3 million kilograms of aid.
  • 71,000 Red Cross and Red Crescent volunteers are responding to the crisis.

[8]

MEDICS LEAVE POLAND=BELARUS BORDER WITHOUT

REACHING MIGRANTS

https://www.dw.com/en/medics-leave-poland-belarus-border-without-reaching-migrants/a-60353514

Doctors Without Borders removed its team on the Belarus-Poland border after Warsaw blocked access to migrants trying to enter the European Union. Camped in harsh conditions, several people have died on the EU’s doorstep.

Despite knowing people along the Belarus-Poland border were “in desperate need of medical and humanitarian assistance,” the medical charity Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said it withdrew its emergency response team from the region.

“Since October, MSF has repeatedly requested access to the restricted area and the border guard posts in Poland, but without success,” Frauke Ossig, the charity’s emergency coordinator for Poland and Lithuania, said on Thursday.

“We know that there are still people crossing the border and hiding in the forest, in need of support, but while we are committed to assisting people on the move wherever they may be, we have not been able to reach them in Poland,” Ossig added.

MSF said it was concerned that restricting access to major aid organizations could result in more deaths and such policies were “another example of the EU deliberately creating unsafe conditions for people to seek asylum at its borders.”

While many of the migrants received shelter in a logistics center, a number of people are reported to have died in the freezing, harsh conditions along the border.

Why can’t aid groups reach migrants and asylum-seekers?

On December 1, Poland’s Interior Ministry extended a state of emergency that prohibits all non-residents, including journalists and non-governmental aid groups, from the border area.

“People are being attacked and beaten at the hands of border guards, and yet state officials continue to allow the practice of pushing people between borders knowing that such maltreatment continues,” MSF said.

With thousands of people on the Belarusian side of the 400-kilometer (250-mile) stretch, Poland built a barbed-wire fence that it intends to replace with a permanent barrier and sent thousands of soldiers to the border, leaving the migrants stuck in camps in no man’s land and unable to apply for asylum in the European Union.

Polish border guards accused of illegal ‘pushbacks’

Polish border guards have been accused of forcibly pushing migrants and asylum-seekers back into Belarus — a move that breaches international law. At least 21 people have lost their lives in the attempt in 2021, MSF reported.

In December, the Polish civil society group Salam Lab reported that five Syrian and one Palestinian who managed to find their way outside Poland’s exclusion zone said they had been pushed back to Belarus several times by Polish authorities.

EU nations Latvia and Lithuania, which also share borders with Belarus, have also reinforced their border security and declared a state of emergency. MSF said it had not received access to migrants at the Belarusian-Lithuanian border.

The European Union has accused Belarus’ authoritarian leader Alexander Lukashenko of encouraging people fleeing conflict and poverty in the Middle East to attempt to enter the EU through Belarus.

Belarus denies this and has urged the EU to take in the migrants.

“The current situation is unacceptable and inhumane,” Ossig said. “People have the right to seek safety and asylum and should not be illegitimately pushed back to Belarus.”

[9]

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL

POLAND/BELARUS: NEW EVIDENCE OF ABUSES HIGHLIGHTS 

”HYPOCRISY” OF UNEQUAL TREATMENT OF ASYLUM SEEKERS

11 APRIL 2022

SEE FOR FULL TEXT, NOTE 5

C2

IN MAIL

From: Astrid Essed <astridessed@yahoo.com>

To: GVA Inquiries Mailbox <inquiries@icrc.org>

Sent: Sunday, June 12, 2022, 12:40:24 PM GMT+2

Subject: Re: Questions about the International Red Cross attitude against Ukrainian refugees versus refugees trapped between Belarus and Poland

TO:

THE ICRC TEAM

International Committee of the Red Cross

Subject:

Reaction to your mail dd 7 june and a repetition of my question

about the present [2022] Red Cross involvement regarding the situation

of the refugees, who are trapped between the borders of Poland and Belarus,

since your answer to me was referring to the situation of 2021 only.

See also my earlier mail to you on which you have responded

Dear Committee,

I appreciate your relatively quick reaction on my recent mail [27 may 2022],

knowing your very busy time schedule.

I also appreciate your concern, following my mail on 27 may, that the attention for the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine should not overshadow your concern

for other humanitarian drama’s.

In my letter I especially mentioned the dramatic humanitarian needs of

those refugees, who are still trapped between the borders of Belarus and Poland.I quote from your mail:”

As you mention in your message, the horror of the crisis in Ukraine shouldn’t make the world forget that people suffering continues in other parts of the world, where millions are still relying on humanitarian assistance to access their basic needs. ”I had noticed that before, since I mentioned inmy mail to you the statement of mr F Rocca, presidentof the International Federation of Red Cross and Red CrescentSocieties, that there should be no difference in the receptionand protection of refugees, whether they are Ukrainians orcoming from other countries [1]
And in my former mail, I’ve also referred to the Good Work, done by the American Red Cross and the Finnish Red Cross  and doubtless other sections of the Red Cross regarding the refugees, trapped between Poland and Belarus [2] and I complimented you with that.
As reaction on my mail to you, you referred to your Joint PressRelease of 2021, titled: ”ICRC and IFCR on migration crisisat the borders between Belarus, Lithuania and other countries” [3]I was impressed, as by the Work of the American Red Cross andthe Finnish Red Cross and I fully supported your statement,especially this part [I quote you]”

All migrants, irrespective of their legal status, should have effective access to humanitarian assistance and medical assistance, as well as to protection. Whether this is international protection, or a voluntary return to their home countries, migrants’ rights should be respected at all times and authorities should avoid separating family members and putting at risk their lives and physical integrity.” [4]

True humanity and something the EU leaders should

reflect on.

HOWEVER:

[And reason for my reaction on your answer to me]

That is NOT what I asked you for.

Since you referred to the situation in 2021 and I am

anxious to know about PRESENT the situation, the

situation in 2022, of the

refugees, trapped between Poland and Belarus [and

as I now understand, also Lithuania]

Perhaps I didn’t make that clear in my first mail to you?

Then I will do it now and repeat my questions:Based on the Statement of Amnesty Internationalon 11th of april 2022, the situation of thosetrapped between the Poland-Belarus border is direSee their statement: 

POLAND/BELARUS: NEW EVIDENCE OF ABUSES HIGHLIGHTS 

”HYPOCRISY” OF UNEQUAL TREATMENT OF ASYLUM SEEKERS

AND the Amnesty report ”POLAND: CRUELTY, NOT COMPASSION, AT EUROPE’S OTHER BORDERS”  [5]

MY QUESTIONS ABOUT THE RED CROSS INVOLVEMENT

WITH THE MENTIONED REFUGEES IN 2022:

My questions refer to the PRESENT, 2022 ICRC involvement with

the refugees, who are trapped between the Poland-Belarus border,

as mentioned in my first mail [6]

I REPEAT:

 I had the impression, that on this moment, the main attention

of the International Cross goes to the Ukrainian refugees [7] and that the

trapped refugees between Poland and Belarus are somewhat forgotten.

When I am wrong, please send me the information about

your involvement in the no one land between those borders on this

moment, 2022.

When I am NOT wrong, please explain to me, why the International

Red Cross shows less attention to those refugees:

Are you being hindered in your activities, something volunteers have experienced in the past months? [8]

And if that’s so, what did you do, as an International Organisation, to

address to this situation?

Did you write to the Polish and Belarussian authorities?

Did you gave press conferences about this?

Did you try to visit the Polish detention centres, where, according to the

information of Amnesty International, the border refugees are being

mistreated and denied their right to asylum? [9]

If not, why not?

Because you are hindered in your activities?

And again the question:

If you are hindered in your activities, what did you do to protest and get access anyway, as

is your right and obligation as the International Red Cross?

Those are my questions, in short

I would appreciate your reaction, but if you are pressed with time,

the only thing I want is to recall the dire situation those refugees

are in and to urge your humanitarian involvement with them, also

now, in 2022, since their situation doesn’t seem to be more humane now.

Thank you for your involvement

Kind greetings

Astrid Essed

Amsterdam 

The Netherlands

NOTES

[1]

IFRC PRESIDENT: ETHNICITY AND NATIONALITY SHOULD NOT

BE DECIDING FACTORS IN SAVING LIVES

16 MAY 2022

PRESS RELEASE

https://www.ifrc.org/press-release/ifrc-president-ethnicity-and-nationality-should-not-be-deciding-factors-saving-lives

New York / Geneva, 16 May 2022 – President of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) Francesco Rocca calls on states to step up to their responsibility to save lives, no matter where people are from, ahead of the first review of the Global Compact for Migration (GCM).

Mr Rocca says: “When I was in Marrakech for the adoption of the GCM I made a statement that the world’s approach to migration is painfully broken – but that the GCM can fix it. As we begin the first review of the progress made since then, I am sad to say that this has not been the case so far. Not enough changes to policies and practices to ensure safe and dignified migration have taken place, and many more lives have been lost due to that failure to act.”

On the world’s deadliest sea migration route, the central Mediterranean, the number of deaths has in fact increased since the GCM was signed. The Ocean Viking ship, operated by SOS Mediterranée with IFRC providing humanitarian services on board, saves people in distress on this route.

“We need to carry out this work as state-coordinated search and rescue is absent in the area,” says Mr Rocca. “Our teams have already saved 1,260 people in the nine months we’ve been operating.”

The Ocean Viking is one of the 330 Humanitarian Service Points (HSPs) in 45 countries that supports the ambitions of the GCM, providing assistance and protection to people on the move irrespective of status and without fear of reprisal. The Romanian Red Cross implements HSPs in Bucharest to support people fleeing Ukraine, providing information, food, water, hygiene items and financial assistance, while the Hungarian Red Cross has been operating a HSP at the Keleti railway station 24/7 to welcome people arriving from Ukraine by train with information, food, hygiene items and baby care products.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Colombian Red Cross Society has implemented HSPs at the border with Venezuela, offering essential services like healthcare, while Libyan Red Crescent volunteers have provided support to migrants and displaced people, operating HSPs that provided access to information, food, and other necessities, as well as restoring family links services.

At the International Migration Review Forum (IMRF), the IFRC is calling for individual and collective efforts on search and rescue; ensuring access to essential services for migrants regardless of status; scaling up support to people affected of climate related displacement; and the inclusion of migrants in all aspects of society and decision making.

“The political, public and humanitarian response to the Ukraine crisis has shown what is possible when humanity and dignity comes first, when there is global solidarity and the will to assist and protect the most vulnerable,” says Mr Rocca. “This must be extended to everyone in need, wherever they come from. Ethnicity and nationality should not be deciding factors in saving lives.”

[2]

AMERICAN RED CROSS

THOUSANDS AT BELARUS BORDER IN NEED

OF HUMANITARIAN AID

https://www.redcross.org/about-us/news-and-events/news/2021/thousands-at-belarus-border-in-need-of-humanitarian-aid.html

November 15, 2021

The Red Cross is urgently providing relief efforts as thousands of people risk their lives in freezing conditions along the Belarus-Poland border. At least 10 people have died and an estimated 2,000 people are living in makeshift camps near the border between Belarus and neighboring countries Poland, Lithuania and Latvia. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) urges unhindered access to the border be provided to help the men, women and children risking their lives for a safer future. 

Belarus Red Cross has been coordinating aid from partners since last week, distributing food, water, blankets and warm clothes. Staff and volunteers are involved in a continuous response to the situation, sorting and distributing packages, as well as helping authorities set up heating tents for women and children. Assistance was also provided for three children who were hospitalized.

“We are concerned about the increasingly serious situation on the Poland-Belarus border, after large groups of migrants arrived there on November 8. We call for access for the Red Cross and other humanitarian organizations so that all people in need, at the border and other locations, can receive medical treatment, humanitarian assistance and protection services,” said Andreas von Weissenberg, IFRC Europe’s head of Disasters, Climate and Crises.

“While Belarus Red Cross has thankfully been given some access to provide vital life-saving aid to people enduring hunger and freezing conditions, we need that access to be regular and also get access on the other side of the border. People need to be treated humanely,” von Weissenberg said.

The Polish Red Cross has been responding to this crisis for several weeks, delivering blankets, sleeping bags and clothes. Local branches are supporting migrants in provinces near the border with food, water and hygiene kits, as well as providing first aid and helping people trace family members.

Lithuanian Red Cross teams have also been supporting migrants close to the border with water, hygiene kits, footwear and clothing, as well as toys for children. In five large reception centers, volunteers provide food and other humanitarian aid, offer psychological support and legal assistance and help people reconnect with their loved ones by providing mobile phones and SIM cards.

IFRC is in the process of providing the Belarus Red Cross, Polish Red Cross and Lithuanian Red Cross with emergency funding to support the migrants with food, clothes, hygiene items, first aid and family reunification services.

“Humanitarian organizations must be granted unconditional and safe access to all people in need, irrespective of their legal status. People are crossing the border with just the clothes on their backs. They need food, medicine, hygiene items, clothing, and protective equipment against COVID-19. We must be allowed to deliver critical assistance and we want to see a peaceful, humane and rights-based solution to the situation,” von Weissenberg concluded. 

THE FINISH RED CROSS

THE RED CROSS IS HELPING MIGRANTS STRUGGLING IN

DANGEROUS CONDITIONS AT THE EU’S EASTERN BORDER

24 NOVEMBER 2021

https://www.redcross.fi/news/2021/the-red-cross-is-helping-migrants-struggling-in-dangerous-conditions-at-the-eus-eastern-border/

The situation of migrants trying to enter the EU at the border of Poland, Lithuania and Belarus is alarming. Thousands of migrants have been stuck on the border region since early autumn. The situation of people sleeping without shelter is expected to worsen as the winter approaches.

The Belarusian, Polish and Lithuanian Red Cross organisations are helping migrants at the borders by distributing food, clean water, hygiene supplies, clothes and blankets and by offering essential health care.

The health of the people sleeping rough is at continuous risk. At least 10 people are known to have died. Among them, a 14-year-old boy who died of hypothermia.

“There are hundreds of children at the border, many of whom have been separated from their families. The are also pregnant women and disabled people among the migrants. Their situation is worsening by the hour as the crisis drags on and nights become colder,” says the Director of International Operations at the Finnish Red Cross Tiina Saarikoski.

“All states are obliged to ensure that humanitarian aid gets through to its target. People have the right to necessary protection, care and safety, regardless of whether they are granted the right to stay in the country or not.”

The International Committee of the Red Cross helps migrants establish contact with their family members. 

The Finnish Red Cross maintains preparedness for large-scale migration as part of its continuous readiness. As agreed with the authorities, the Red Cross is permanently prepared to establish and maintain reception centres and temporary accommodation units at the request of the authorities.

The Finnish Red Cross has not received official requests in relation to the situation in Poland, Lithuania and Belarus. 
 
“The most important thing right now is to deliver necessary aid to the migrants in unsafe conditions and allow humanitarian operators to provide aid,” Saarikoski emphasises. 

[3]

ICRC AND IFCR ON MIGRATION CRISIS AT THE BORDERS

BETWEEN BELARUS, POLAND, LITHUANIA AND OTHER COUNTRIES

18 NOVEMBER 2021

https://www.icrc.org/en/document/icrc-ifrc-migration-crisis-borders

Unrestricted and safe humanitarian access urgently needed to save lives and alleviate suffering.

STATEMENT18 NOVEMBER 2021

Budapest/Geneva – November 18, 2021 — The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) are alarmed by the humanitarian tragedy unfolding at the borders between Belarus, Poland and Lithuania. At least 10 people are known to have died, including a 14-year-old boy due to hypothermia. The situation is set to worsen with the most serious winter weather yet to arrive.

IFRC has allocated more than 1 million Swiss Francs to Belarus Red Cross, Polish Red Cross and Lithuanian Red Cross, whose volunteers and staff are assisting thousands of vulnerable people with food, water, blankets and vital medical assistance. ICRC is complementing the response, providing support and additional technical expertise to Red Cross partners, notably to keep migrants in contact with their relatives and other protection-related issues.

Birgitte Ebbesen, IFRC Regional Director for Europe said, “There are extremely vulnerable people at the border, including people with disabilities, pregnant women, and hundreds of children – many of them without a parent or family member. They have been sleeping rough in freezing conditions for many days now.”

“Our volunteers have been able to provide some assistance, but many are still hungry and cold. These are mothers, sisters, sons and daughters, people whose lives matter, and they should be protected and treated with compassion and dignity.”

Martin Schüepp, ICRC Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia said: “To protect people’s lives, health and dignity, as well as ease suffering and prevent further tragedy, all Red Cross Red Crescent Movement partners and other humanitarian organisations need immediate, unrestricted access to all migrants, including at borders.”

“The ICRC is providing support and additional technical expertise to our Red Cross partners, on reuniting people with separated family members and other protection-related issues.”

All migrants, irrespective of their legal status, should have effective access to humanitarian assistance and medical assistance, as well as to protection. Whether this is international protection, or a voluntary return to their home countries, migrants’ rights should be respected at all times and authorities should avoid separating family members and putting at risk their lives and physical integrity.

[4]

”All migrants, irrespective of their legal status, should have effective access to humanitarian assistance and medical assistance, as well as to protection. Whether this is international protection, or a voluntary return to their home countries, migrants’ rights should be respected at all times and authorities should avoid separating family members and putting at risk their lives and physical integrity.”

ICRC AND IFCR ON MIGRATION CRISIS AT THE BORDERS

BETWEEN BELARUS, POLAND, LITHUANIA AND OTHER COUNTRIES

18 NOVEMBER 2021

https://www.icrc.org/en/document/icrc-ifrc-migration-crisis-borders

SEE FOR FULL TEXT, NOTE 3

[5]

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL

POLAND/BELARUS: NEW EVIDENCE OF ABUSES HIGHLIGHTS 

”HYPOCRISY” OF UNEQUAL TREATMENT OF ASYLUM SEEKERS

11 APRIL 2022

Poland/Belarus: New evidence of abuses highlights ‘hypocrisy’ of unequal treatment of asylum-seekers 

  • Authorities violating rights of asylum-seekers, including strip searches and other degrading treatment, in overcrowded detention centres
  • Some people forcibly sedated during return
  • Pushbacks and arbitrary detention in stark contrast with welcome shown to those fleeing Ukraine
  • Spokespeople available

The Polish authorities have arbitrarily detained nearly two thousand asylum-seekers who crossed into the country from Belarus in 2021, and subjected many of them to abuse, including strip searches in unsanitary, overcrowded facilities, and in some cases even to forcible sedation and tasering, Amnesty International said today.

Additionally, after a hiatus during winter, more asylum-seekers are now trying to enter Poland from Belarus, where they are unable to access further funds due to international sanctions and risk harassment or apprehension by Belarusian police due their irregular immigration status. At the Polish border they face razor wire fences and repeated pushbacks by border guards sometimes up to 20-30 times.

“This violent and degrading treatment stands in stark contrast to the warm welcome Poland is offering to displaced people arriving from Ukraine. The behaviour of the Polish authorities smacks of racism and hypocrisy. Poland must urgently extend its admirable compassion for those entering the country from Ukraine to all those crossing its borders to seek safety.”

Arbitrary detention and abysmal detention conditions

Polish border guards have systematically rounded up and violently pushed back people crossing from Belarus, sometimes threatening them with guns. The vast majority of those who have been fortunate enough to avoid being pushed back to Belarus and to apply for asylum in Poland are forced into automatic detention, without a proper assessment of their individual situation and the impact detention would have on their physical and mental health. They are often held for prolonged and indefinite periods of time in overcrowded centres that offer little privacy and only limited access to sanitary facilities, doctors, psychologists, or legal assistance.

Almost all of the people Amnesty International interviewed said they were  traumatized after fleeing areas of conflict and being trapped for months on the Belarusian-Polish border. They also suffered from serious psychological problems, including anxiety, insomnia, depression and frequent suicidal thoughts, undoubtedly exacerbated by their unnecessary metres. For most, psychological support was unavailable.

Retraumatized inside a military base

Many of the people who Amnesty spoke to had been in Wędrzyn detention centre, which holds up to 600 people. Overcrowding is particularly acute in this facility, where up to 24 men are detained in rooms measuring just eight square metres.

In 2021, the Polish authorities decreased the minimum required space for foreign detainees from three square meters per person to just two. The Council of Europe minimum standard for personal living space in prisons and detention centres is four square meters per person.

People held in Wędrzyn recounted how guards greeted new detainees  by saying “welcome to Guantánamo”. Many of them were victims of torture in their home countries before enduring harrowing experiences both in Belarus and on the border of Poland. The detention centre in Wędrzyn forms part of an active military base. The facility’s barbed wire walls — and the persistent sound of armoured vehicles, helicopters and gunfire from military exercises in the area — only serves to retraumatize them.

In Lesznowola Detention Centre, detainees said that guards’ treatment left them feeling dehumanized. The staff called detainees by their case numbers instead of using their names and meted out excessive punishments, including isolation, for simple requests, such as asking for a towel or more food.

Nearly all those interviewed reported consistently disrespectful and verbally abusive behaviour, racist remarks and other practices that indicated psychological ill-treatment. 

Men who Amnesty International interviewed uniformly  complained about the manner in which body searches were  conducted. When people were  transferred from one detention centre to another, they were forced to undergo a strip search at each facility, even though they were in state custody at all times. In Wędrzyn, people recounted abusive searches. For example, all newly admitted foreigners are kept together in a room, required to remove all of their clothes and ordered to perform squats longer than necessary for a legitimate check.

Violent forcible returns

Amnesty International interviewed several people who were forcibly returned as well as some who avoided return and remain in detention in Poland. Many said the Polish border guards who conducted the returns coerced them into signing documents in Polish that they suspected included incriminating information in order to justify their returns. They also said that, in some cases, border guards used excessive force, such as tasers, restrained people with handcuffs, and even sedated those being returned. 

Authorities attempted to forcibly return Yezda, a 30-year old Kurdish woman , with her husband and three small children. After being told that the family would be returned to Iraq, Yezda panicked and screamed and pleaded with the guards not to take them. She threatened to take her life and became extremely agitated. “I knew I could not go back to Iraq and I was ready to die in Poland. While I was crying like that, two guards restrained me and my husband, tied our hands behind our backs, and a doctor gave us an injection that made us very weak and sleepy. My head was not clear, but I could hear my children, who were in the room with us, crying and screaming.”

“We were asked to go through the airport security and the guards told us to behave on the plane. But I refused to go. I remember noticing that I didn’t even have any shoes on, as in the chaos at the camp, they slipped of my feet. My head was not clear, and I couldn’t see my husband or the children, but I remember that they forced me on the plane that was full of people. I was still crying and pleading with the police not to take us.” Yezda said that she broke her foot as she fought the guards who tried to put her on the plane. Yezda and her family were returned to Warsaw after the airline refused to take them to Iraq. They remain in a camp in Poland for now.

Volunteers and activists have been barred from accessing the border of Poland and Belarus, and some have even faced prosecution for trying to help people cross the border. In March, activists who had helped people both on Poland’s borders with Ukraine and with Belarus were detained for providing life-saving assistance to refugees and migrants on the Belarussian border, and now face potentially serious charges.

Stranded at the border

On 20 March, the Belarusian authorities reportedly evicted close to 700 refugees and migrants, including many families with young children and people suffering from severe illnesses and disabilities, from the warehouse in the Belarusian village of Bruzgi which had accommodated several thousand people in 2021.

People who were evicted from the warehouse suddenly found themselves stranded in the forest, trying to survive in sub-zero temperatures without shelter, food, water or access to medical care. Many remain in the forest and experience daily abuse from the Belarusian border guards, who use dogs and violence to force people to cross the border into Poland.

“Hundreds of people fleeing conflict in the Middle East and other parts of the world remain stranded on the border between Belarus and Poland. The Polish government must immediately stop pushbacks. They are illegal no matter how the government tries to justify them. The international community – including the EU – must demand that those trapped on Poland’s border with Belarus be afforded the same access to EU territory as any other group seeking refuge in Europe,” said Jelena Sesar.

END OF THE ARTICLE

REPORT AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL

POLAND: CRUELTY, NOT COMPASSION, AT EUROPE’S OTHER BORDERS

11 APRIL 2022

The rapid relief effort at the border, exceptional generosity of civil society and willingness of Polish authorities to receive people fleeing from Ukraine contrast starkly with the Polish government’s hostility toward refugees and migrants who have arrived in the country via Belarus since July 2021. Hundreds of people who crossed from Belarus have been arbitrarily detained in Poland in appalling conditions and without access to a fair asylum proceeding. Many have been forcibly returned to their countries of origin, some under sedation. In addition, hundreds of people remain stranded inside Belarus and face increasingly desperate conditions.

END OF THIS PIECE

FULL REPORT

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL

POLAND: CRUELTY, NOT COMPASSION, AT EUROPE’S OTHER BORDERS

11 APRIL 2022

https://www.amnesty.org/en/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/EUR3754602022ENGLISH.pdf

[6]

THE INTERNATIONAL RED CROSS, THE UKRAINIAN REFUGEES

AND THE REFUGEES, TRAPPED BETWEEN POLAND AND BELARUS/

DO YOU TREAT THEM WITH EQUAL ATTENTION, RED CROSS?

ASTRID ESSED

[7]

THE INTERNATIONAL RED CROSS 

HUMANITARIAN CRISIS IN UKRAINE AND NEIGHBOURING

COUNTRIES

https://www.icrc.org/en/humanitarian-crisis-ukraine

IFRC SCALES UP CASH ASSISTANCE TO PEOPLE IMPACTED

BY CONFLICT IN UKRAINE

23 MAY 2022

https://www.ifrc.org/article/ifrc-scales-cash-assistance-people-impacted-conflict-ukraine

Three months into the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) has distributed financial assistance totalling more than 4.3 million Swiss francs to thousands of people on the move.

IFRC Head of Emergency Operations for the Ukraine response, Anne Katherine Moore, said:

“The longer the conflict continues, the greater the needs become. The cost of basic necessities, such as fresh fruit and vegetables, is rising. Increases in the cost of fuel and apartment rentals are also being reported. Millions of people have lost their jobs and their savings are dwindling. Through a new mobile app, we have been able to ramp up our support to help people facing these financial challenges.”

The new technology makes it possible for the IFRC and responding National Societies to reach people at scale and to deliver cash assistance digitally. Successfully introduced in Romania, the mobile app allows refugees to self-register for assistance online, negating the need and cost involved of having to travel to a central location.

The app will soon be expanded to Poland and Slovakia, where cash assistance is already being provided through more traditional methods such as in-person registration, as well as Ukraine and other neighbouring countries.

“This is the fastest we have ever delivered cash at this scale. It has the potential to be a game-changer for our work not just in this response, but also in future operations,” Moore continued.

Cash assistance is a dignified and efficient way to support people impacted by the conflict, allowing them to purchase items specific to their individual needs, while also supporting local economies. It is one part of our integrated and wide-ranging Red Cross and Red Crescent response to the conflict that also includes the provision of health care, first aid, psychosocial support and the distribution of basic household necessities.

Speaking about next steps, Moore said: “There is no short-term solution to the needs of the more than 14 million people who have been forced to flee their homes. We know that even if the conflict was to end tomorrow, rebuilding and recovery will take years. People have lost their homes, their livelihoods, and access to timely healthcare. The IFRC, in support of local National Red Cross Societies in the region, will be there helping people now, and in the months and years to come.”

During the past three months:
  • Together, we have reached more than 2.1 million people with life-saving aid within Ukraine and in surrounding countries. This is 1 in 10 people who had to flee their homes because of the conflict.
  • Along the travel routes within and outside Ukraine, we’ve set up 142 Humanitarian Service Points in 15 countries to provide those fleeing with a safe environment. There, they receive essential services like food, hygiene items, blankets, clothing water, first aid, psychosocial support, information, and financial assistance.
  • In total, we distributed 2.3 million kilograms of aid.
  • 71,000 Red Cross and Red Crescent volunteers are responding to the crisis.

[8]

MEDICS LEAVE POLAND=BELARUS BORDER WITHOUT

REACHING MIGRANTS

https://www.dw.com/en/medics-leave-poland-belarus-border-without-reaching-migrants/a-60353514

Doctors Without Borders removed its team on the Belarus-Poland border after Warsaw blocked access to migrants trying to enter the European Union. Camped in harsh conditions, several people have died on the EU’s doorstep.

Despite knowing people along the Belarus-Poland border were “in desperate need of medical and humanitarian assistance,” the medical charity Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said it withdrew its emergency response team from the region.

“Since October, MSF has repeatedly requested access to the restricted area and the border guard posts in Poland, but without success,” Frauke Ossig, the charity’s emergency coordinator for Poland and Lithuania, said on Thursday.

“We know that there are still people crossing the border and hiding in the forest, in need of support, but while we are committed to assisting people on the move wherever they may be, we have not been able to reach them in Poland,” Ossig added.

MSF said it was concerned that restricting access to major aid organizations could result in more deaths and such policies were “another example of the EU deliberately creating unsafe conditions for people to seek asylum at its borders.”

While many of the migrants received shelter in a logistics center, a number of people are reported to have died in the freezing, harsh conditions along the border.

Why can’t aid groups reach migrants and asylum-seekers?

On December 1, Poland’s Interior Ministry extended a state of emergency that prohibits all non-residents, including journalists and non-governmental aid groups, from the border area.

“People are being attacked and beaten at the hands of border guards, and yet state officials continue to allow the practice of pushing people between borders knowing that such maltreatment continues,” MSF said.

With thousands of people on the Belarusian side of the 400-kilometer (250-mile) stretch, Poland built a barbed-wire fence that it intends to replace with a permanent barrier and sent thousands of soldiers to the border, leaving the migrants stuck in camps in no man’s land and unable to apply for asylum in the European Union.

Polish border guards accused of illegal ‘pushbacks’

Polish border guards have been accused of forcibly pushing migrants and asylum-seekers back into Belarus — a move that breaches international law. At least 21 people have lost their lives in the attempt in 2021, MSF reported.

In December, the Polish civil society group Salam Lab reported that five Syrian and one Palestinian who managed to find their way outside Poland’s exclusion zone said they had been pushed back to Belarus several times by Polish authorities.

EU nations Latvia and Lithuania, which also share borders with Belarus, have also reinforced their border security and declared a state of emergency. MSF said it had not received access to migrants at the Belarusian-Lithuanian border.

The European Union has accused Belarus’ authoritarian leader Alexander Lukashenko of encouraging people fleeing conflict and poverty in the Middle East to attempt to enter the EU through Belarus.

Belarus denies this and has urged the EU to take in the migrants.

“The current situation is unacceptable and inhumane,” Ossig said. “People have the right to seek safety and asylum and should not be illegitimately pushed back to Belarus.”

[9]

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL

POLAND/BELARUS: NEW EVIDENCE OF ABUSES HIGHLIGHTS 

”HYPOCRISY” OF UNEQUAL TREATMENT OF ASYLUM SEEKERS

11 APRIL 2022

SEE FOR FULL TEXT, NOTE 5

Reacties uitgeschakeld voor Astrid Essed insists: Red Cross, please give me information about your present [2022] involvement with the refugees, trapped between Poland and Belarus

Opgeslagen onder Divers

The International Red Cross, the Ukrainian refugees and the refugees, trapped between Poland and Belarus/Do you treat them with equal attention, Red Cross?

The Massini family from Syria, father Muhammad (second left), mother Alaa (centre) and their two sons, with activists

The Massini family from Syria, father Muhammad (second left), mother Alaa (centre) and their two sons, with activists. Photograph: Wojtek Radwański/AFP/Getty Images
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/nov/07/on-the-frozen-frontiers-of-europe-with-the-migrants-caught-in-a-lethal-game

Fallen tree in the Białowieża Forest

Bialowieza National Park in Poland0029.JPG
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bia%C5%82owie%C5%BCa_Forest

REFUGEES, TRAPPED BETWEEN POLAND AND BELARUS

War of Russia against Ukraine. War refugees in Ukraine. KYIV, UKRAINE - Mar. 05, 2022: War of Russia against Ukraine. Women, old people and children evacuated stock images

UKRAINIAN REFUGEES

THE INTERNATIONAL RED CROSS, UKRAINIAN REFUGEES AND REFUGEES, TRAPPED BETWEEN POLAND AND BELARUS/DO YOU TREAT THEM WITH EQUAL ATTENTION, INTERNATIONAL RED CROSS?

ASTRID ESSED LETTER!

TO 

THE INTERNATIONAL RED CROSS

PRESIDENT AND ASSEMBLY

Subject:

Questions about the International Red Cross attitude against

Ukrainian refugees versus refugees trapped between Belarus and

Poland

Your mission as International Red Cross

The work of the ICRC is based on the Geneva Conventions of 1949, their Additional Protocols, its Statutes – and those of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement – and the resolutions of the International Conferences of the Red Cross and Red Crescent. The ICRC is an independent, neutral organization ensuring humanitarian protection and assistance for victims of armed conflict and other situations of violence. It takes action in response to emergencies and at the same time promotes respect for international humanitarian law and its implementation in national law.

https://www.icrc.org/en/who-we-are/mandate

[When you are pressed with time, go directly to the part below:

”QUESTIONS TO THE INTERNATIONAL RED CROSS”]

Dear President

Dear members of the Assembly,

Firstly my great appreciation for your fantastic and indispensable Work

through the whole world!

Without your humanitarian involvement and the sometimes great risks

your co workers take, life would be extremely difficult, if not impossible,

for the millions of people you are helping day after day.

But even the best of organisations need critical attention and have their 

flaws and that’s precisely the reason of this letter.

For in my opinion the International Red Cross attention for the Ukrainian

refugees, who have crossed the Polish Border is far more greater than the attention for the refugees, who tried to cross the Polish Border and are still trapped between the borders of Poland and Belarus.

Now I will not say, that the International Red Cross did nothing for these refugees.

On the contrary:

My great appreciation for the Good Work of the Finnish Red Cross, that 

helped those people wonderfully! [1]

I also appreciate the emergency calls and involvement

of the American Red Cross, The Belarus Red Cross, the Poland Red Cross,

the Lithuanian Red Cross and the other Red Cross departments [2]

Thank you, Finnish Red Cross [which gets this letter cc also]

and thank you, the other mentioned and peerhaps not mentioned Red Cross departments !

Also a Shout out to all those anonymous Polish people,

who helped refugees! [3]

And I express my appreciation to the president of the International

Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies mr F Rocca, who

stated, that thee should be no difference in the reception and protection

of refugees, whether they are Ukrainians or coming from other countries.

I quote him:

“The political, public and humanitarian response to the Ukraine crisis has shown what is possible when humanity and dignity comes first, when there is global solidarity and the will to assist and protect the most vulnerable,”and

“This must be extended to everyone in need, wherever they come from. Ethnicity and nationality should not be deciding factors in saving lives.” [4]

UKRAINIAN REFUGEES VERSUS REFUGEES, TRAPPED BETWEEN

POLAND AND BELARUS

I referred to the great attention of the International Red Cross to the Ukrainian

refugees [5] and don’t get me wrong:

I appreciate that very much and I think it is of the utmost importance to stand

for these people, who were the victims of the Russian invasion and had to flee their countries under so dramatic circumstances.

I sympathise with all refugees whoever they are and where they came from

and I know the International Red Cross does the same.

And yet, according to me, sometimes things go wrong.

Too often I learn from people from the field: Volunteers who do their utmost

to help those. who are trapped between the borders of Belarus and Poland, that

the Red Cross is not, or not enough, present to help the between border refugees”:

I quote something that made great impression on me:

It’s from mrs Anna Albot, a spokeswoman for the Polish Minority

Right Group [also mentioned in cc] and member of the Grupa Granica:

Quote: [first in Dutch, then translation in English]:

”Waar is het Rode Kruis, de Internationale Organisatie voor Migratie van de VN en de VN-vluchtelingenorganisatie? Die organisaties die zelfs in oorlogsgebieden opereren? Die voedsel en water naar de gevaarlijkste criminelen brengen? Is Elina, 5, gevaarlijker of minder waard? ” [6]

In English:

”Where is the Red Cross, The International Organisation for Migration

of the UN and the UNHCR? 

Those organisations which even operate in warzones?

Which bring food and water to the most dangerous criminals?

Is Elina, 5, more dangerous and worth less?

Mrs Albot also published this article in the Guardian [8 december 2021]

QUESTIONS TO THE INTERNATIONAL RED CROSS

This was in december 2021

And to my knowledge, the situation of the refugees, trapped

in the Polish-Belarussian border is yet inhuman, as is the

situation of the refugees, who reached Poland and are in

Polish detention centres in dire conditions.

See the statement of Amnesty International [7]

Now I had the impression, that on this moment, the main attention

of the International Cross goes to the Ukrainian refugees and that the

trapped refugees between Poland and Belarus are somewhat forgotten.

When I am wrong, please send me the information about

your involvement in the no one land between those borders.

When I am NOT wrong, please explain to me, why the International

Red Cross shows less attention to those refugees:

Are you being hindered in your activities, something volunteers have experienced in the past months? [8]

And if that’s so, what did you do, as an International Organisation, to

address to this situation?

Did you write to the Polish and Belarussian authorities?

Did you gave press conferences about this?

Did you try to visit the Polish detention centres, where, according to the

information of Amnesty International, the border refugees are being

mistreated and denied their right to asylum? [9]

If not, why not?

Because you are hindered in your activities?

And again the question:

If you are hindered in your activities, what did you do to protest and get access anyway, as

is your right and obligation as the International Red Cross?

And when, suppose you HAD access to the mentioned detention centres and

were not hindered in your activities, why did you give more attention

to the Ukrainian refugees then to those trapped between Belarus and

Poland.

Again, I don’t say you on purpose neglected those between borders refugees, I only had the impression more attention went to the Ukrainian refugees, who have, of course, the full right to your attention, only not more then

others.

EPILOGUE

Dear president, members of the International Red Cross, I hope you

forgive me my bold and critical questions, but they were necessary:

Like Amnesty International [10] I am very concerned about the

inhuman situation of the refugees between the border, as their reception in

Poland, that is quite different from the warm welcome

the Ukrainian refugees received, as it should be for all refugees.

You as a great humanitarian organisation can make the difference and

show the World and especially the European leaders, that all refugees 

must be treated and received humanely, regardless where they came from

or what their origins are.

Do your best.

The refugees count on you!

And if you’re pressed with time and can’t answer me, no problem

All I want is that you do your humanitarian task to all refugees,

whoever they are

Thank you

Kind greetings

Astrid Essed

Amsterdam 

The Netherlands

NOTES

[1]

THE FINISH RED CROSS

THE RED CROSS IS HELPING MIGRANTS STRUGGLING IN

DANGEROUS CONDITIONS AT THE EU’S EASTERN BORDER

24 NOVEMBER 2021

https://www.redcross.fi/news/2021/the-red-cross-is-helping-migrants-struggling-in-dangerous-conditions-at-the-eus-eastern-border/

The situation of migrants trying to enter the EU at the border of Poland, Lithuania and Belarus is alarming. Thousands of migrants have been stuck on the border region since early autumn. The situation of people sleeping without shelter is expected to worsen as the winter approaches.

The Belarusian, Polish and Lithuanian Red Cross organisations are helping migrants at the borders by distributing food, clean water, hygiene supplies, clothes and blankets and by offering essential health care.

The health of the people sleeping rough is at continuous risk. At least 10 people are known to have died. Among them, a 14-year-old boy who died of hypothermia.

“There are hundreds of children at the border, many of whom have been separated from their families. The are also pregnant women and disabled people among the migrants. Their situation is worsening by the hour as the crisis drags on and nights become colder,” says the Director of International Operations at the Finnish Red Cross Tiina Saarikoski.

“All states are obliged to ensure that humanitarian aid gets through to its target. People have the right to necessary protection, care and safety, regardless of whether they are granted the right to stay in the country or not.”

The International Committee of the Red Cross helps migrants establish contact with their family members. 

The Finnish Red Cross maintains preparedness for large-scale migration as part of its continuous readiness. As agreed with the authorities, the Red Cross is permanently prepared to establish and maintain reception centres and temporary accommodation units at the request of the authorities.

The Finnish Red Cross has not received official requests in relation to the situation in Poland, Lithuania and Belarus. 
 
“The most important thing right now is to deliver necessary aid to the migrants in unsafe conditions and allow humanitarian operators to provide aid,” Saarikoski emphasises. 

[2]

AMERICAN RED CROSS

THOUSANDS AT BELARUS BORDER IN NEED

OF HUMANITARIAN AID

https://www.redcross.org/about-us/news-and-events/news/2021/thousands-at-belarus-border-in-need-of-humanitarian-aid.html

November 15, 2021

The Red Cross is urgently providing relief efforts as thousands of people risk their lives in freezing conditions along the Belarus-Poland border. At least 10 people have died and an estimated 2,000 people are living in makeshift camps near the border between Belarus and neighboring countries Poland, Lithuania and Latvia. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) urges unhindered access to the border be provided to help the men, women and children risking their lives for a safer future. 

Belarus Red Cross has been coordinating aid from partners since last week, distributing food, water, blankets and warm clothes. Staff and volunteers are involved in a continuous response to the situation, sorting and distributing packages, as well as helping authorities set up heating tents for women and children. Assistance was also provided for three children who were hospitalized.

“We are concerned about the increasingly serious situation on the Poland-Belarus border, after large groups of migrants arrived there on November 8. We call for access for the Red Cross and other humanitarian organizations so that all people in need, at the border and other locations, can receive medical treatment, humanitarian assistance and protection services,” said Andreas von Weissenberg, IFRC Europe’s head of Disasters, Climate and Crises.

“While Belarus Red Cross has thankfully been given some access to provide vital life-saving aid to people enduring hunger and freezing conditions, we need that access to be regular and also get access on the other side of the border. People need to be treated humanely,” von Weissenberg said.

The Polish Red Cross has been responding to this crisis for several weeks, delivering blankets, sleeping bags and clothes. Local branches are supporting migrants in provinces near the border with food, water and hygiene kits, as well as providing first aid and helping people trace family members.

Lithuanian Red Cross teams have also been supporting migrants close to the border with water, hygiene kits, footwear and clothing, as well as toys for children. In five large reception centers, volunteers provide food and other humanitarian aid, offer psychological support and legal assistance and help people reconnect with their loved ones by providing mobile phones and SIM cards.

IFRC is in the process of providing the Belarus Red Cross, Polish Red Cross and Lithuanian Red Cross with emergency funding to support the migrants with food, clothes, hygiene items, first aid and family reunification services.

“Humanitarian organizations must be granted unconditional and safe access to all people in need, irrespective of their legal status. People are crossing the border with just the clothes on their backs. They need food, medicine, hygiene items, clothing, and protective equipment against COVID-19. We must be allowed to deliver critical assistance and we want to see a peaceful, humane and rights-based solution to the situation,” von Weissenberg concluded. 

[3]

24/7  NEWS BULLETIN

IT’S HEART BREAKING: HOW POLISH VOLUNTEERS

RESCUE POVERTY STRICKEN MIGRANTS AT

THE BELARUSIAN BORDER

11 NOVEMBER 2021

While the official Warsaw refuses to let in the migrants who have accumulated on the Belarusian border, not wanting to recognize them as refugees, many Poles express a desire to help people in difficult situations.

In the Polish media, you can see lists of various NGOs that are involved in helping migrants, as well as talk about ways to help them. One of the most popular is called a financial donation, but it is also suggested to become a volunteer working with refugees. The monetary contributions are spent on humanitarian transportation, shelter, medical and legal assistance, and integration with the host society.

“You don’t have to be at the border to help refugees,” writes Gazeta Wyborcza. “We can’t do much on this issue, but here’s exactly what we can: offer a blanket, a sleeping bag or waterproof clothing.”

Among the organizations that help refugees and migrants, mention is made, for example, of Caritas Polska, which carries out humanitarian aid campaigns both in Poland and abroad. This organization operates centers for refugees and migrants in Szczecin, Kalisz and Warsaw, providing systematic assistance in the field of intercultural integration, career counseling, psychological and legal assistance, classes in community centers and educational packages. Since the beginning of the current migration crisis at the Polish-Belarusian border, Caritas Polska has been organizing humanitarian transfers to centers where foreigners arrive, providing migrants with food, detergents, hygiene items, and blankets.

Helping migrants and the Polish Red Cross collecting material gifts for aid packages for migrants. Donations are accepted at Red Cross offices throughout Poland. Currently, the most in demand are: jackets, sweaters, thick socks, warm shoes, hats, scarves, blankets and sleeping bags. At the same time, clothes and shoes must be new or used, but in good condition. High-energy products are accepted (bars, chocolate, dried fruits), as well as other food products (pies and other canned poultry, canned fish, crackers, waffles, etc.).

The Polish non-governmental humanitarian organization Grupa Granica, which monitors the situation on the Polish-Belarusian border, believes that refugees need to be rescued as soon as possible. Indeed, if the Polish border police finds injured migrants before doctors, they send them back to Belarus, explaining this step by the fact that their health condition may deteriorate at any time, and the risk of death in such conditions is great.

The Guardian tells how 15 Iraqi Kurds ended up in the forests of the Polish village of Narewka after they managed to cross the border of Belarus and the European Union. All migrants had early signs of hypothermia. One woman could hardly walk. They had no choice but to turn to volunteers for help. A team from Grupa Granica, before the border guards, found migrants who found themselves in completely extreme conditions. It was already starting to get dark, and the temperature dropped to almost zero degrees. Volunteers distributed blankets and hot tea to people.

After some time, the police arrived in the forest. Up to this point, volunteers have explained to the frozen migrants how to properly apply for asylum.

“We have about eight teams operating near the border and a total of about 40 people,” Anna Albot, a spokeswoman for the Polish Minority Rights Group and member of Grupa Granica, told The Guardian. – Whenever we receive calls from migrant families, we send a request to our teams and check who is closest to the place. People often ask for food, water, a doctor, or clothing. The other day I met a Syrian family who didn’t even have shoes. ”

Anna Chmielewska, coordinator of the Center for Assistance to Foreigners in Warsaw, noted that “it is difficult to work in the border zone for several reasons”. First, the Polish police stop the cars of the volunteers a few kilometers before the Kuznitsa checkpoint on the Polish-Belarusian border. The fact is that three kilometers from the border begins the territory on which the state of emergency is in force, so access to it is prohibited.

“We cannot get into this zone and help the people who are there,” she added. “Only local residents can do this.” According to her, volunteers only have the opportunity to contact migrants only when they can pass the border zone: “But not everyone succeeds in doing this. Winter is coming and people are not ready to stay outside in the cold day after day. We are afraid that bad weather will lead to more deaths. It’s heartbreaking for us. “

In addition, the activist said that border police officers often behave quite aggressively. “We are not doing anything illegal, but they make us feel like we are violators,” Khmelevska said. “Helping people is okay. But in the current situation we seem to be engaged in secret activities. “

According to a representative of another non-governmental Polish organization, Medycy na granicy (Doctors at the Border – MK), border guards periodically obstruct the provision of medical assistance to migrants.

On their official Facebook page, the volunteers reported that before going on another call, they found that the ambulance’s wheels had been deflated. In addition, the doctors found “people in uniform” at the service car, and an olive-colored car with registration numbers beginning with the letters denoting the off-road vehicles of the Polish army stood nearby, the report said.

The doctors added that they tried to talk to the people sitting in the car, but they left almost immediately. Then they turned to the Ministry of National Defense of Poland with a request to “urgently provide clarification regarding this shameful incident.”

The department gave a response almost immediately. “The soldiers of the Polish army have no relation to the damage to the ambulance at the border,” the ministry’s press service informed. “They have much more serious questions than the denial of fake news in the media space.”

At the same time, such situations do not lead volunteers astray. They continue to provide assistance to refugees. On their social networks, doctors posted a post in five languages – English, French, Arabic, Persian and Kurdish – with the following content: “If you or someone from your family needs any humanitarian or medical assistance on the Polish-Belarusian border, write US. We will connect you with the right people. “

Those wishing to help migrants have to face not only opposition from the authorities. After one of the theaters in the city of Legnica began collecting gifts for refugees on the Polish-Belarusian border, it was attacked by haters on the Internet. “But there are more people willing to help,” says one of the initiators of the action.

In this regard, Polish volunteers are pleased to know that activists from Germany are trying to help migrants stranded on the Polish-Belarusian border. According to the Polish Internet resource Oko.press, a group of German volunteers came to Poland to deliver parcels for refugees to local organizations, show solidarity with immigrants and protest against the actions of the Polish authorities and the inaction of German politicians.

“We have free seats on the bus,” says one of the activists Ruben Neugebauer. “We could take people who need help with us. If only the German government would agree to this … We call on the German authorities to create humanitarian corridors on the Polish-Belarusian border. This should be one of the priorities of the government that is currently being formed in Germany. “

.

Source From: MK

[4]

IFRC PRESIDENT: ETHNICITY AND NATIONALITY SHOULD NOT

BE DECIDING FACTORS IN SAVING LIVES

16 MAY 2022/PRESS RELEASE

https://www.ifrc.org/press-release/ifrc-president-ethnicity-and-nationality-should-not-be-deciding-factors-saving-lives

New York / Geneva, 16 May 2022 – President of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) Francesco Rocca calls on states to step up to their responsibility to save lives, no matter where people are from, ahead of the first review of the Global Compact for Migration (GCM).

Mr Rocca says: “When I was in Marrakech for the adoption of the GCM I made a statement that the world’s approach to migration is painfully broken – but that the GCM can fix it. As we begin the first review of the progress made since then, I am sad to say that this has not been the case so far. Not enough changes to policies and practices to ensure safe and dignified migration have taken place, and many more lives have been lost due to that failure to act.”

On the world’s deadliest sea migration route, the central Mediterranean, the number of deaths has in fact increased since the GCM was signed. The Ocean Viking ship, operated by SOS Mediterranée with IFRC providing humanitarian services on board, saves people in distress on this route.

“We need to carry out this work as state-coordinated search and rescue is absent in the area,” says Mr Rocca. “Our teams have already saved 1,260 people in the nine months we’ve been operating.”

The Ocean Viking is one of the 330 Humanitarian Service Points (HSPs) in 45 countries that supports the ambitions of the GCM, providing assistance and protection to people on the move irrespective of status and without fear of reprisal. The Romanian Red Cross implements HSPs in Bucharest to support people fleeing Ukraine, providing information, food, water, hygiene items and financial assistance, while the Hungarian Red Cross has been operating a HSP at the Keleti railway station 24/7 to welcome people arriving from Ukraine by train with information, food, hygiene items and baby care products.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Colombian Red Cross Society has implemented HSPs at the border with Venezuela, offering essential services like healthcare, while Libyan Red Crescent volunteers have provided support to migrants and displaced people, operating HSPs that provided access to information, food, and other necessities, as well as restoring family links services.

At the International Migration Review Forum (IMRF), the IFRC is calling for individual and collective efforts on search and rescue; ensuring access to essential services for migrants regardless of status; scaling up support to people affected of climate related displacement; and the inclusion of migrants in all aspects of society and decision making.

“The political, public and humanitarian response to the Ukraine crisis has shown what is possible when humanity and dignity comes first, when there is global solidarity and the will to assist and protect the most vulnerable,” says Mr Rocca. “This must be extended to everyone in need, wherever they come from. Ethnicity and nationality should not be deciding factors in saving lives.”

[5]

THE INTERNATIONAL RED CROSS AND THE UKRAINE

https://www.icrc.org/en/humanitarian-crisis-ukraine

IFRC SCALES UP CASH ASSISTANCE TO PEOPLE IMPACTED

BY CONFLICT IN UKRAINE

23 MAY 2022

https://www.ifrc.org/article/ifrc-scales-cash-assistance-people-impacted-conflict-ukraine

Three months into the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) has distributed financial assistance totalling more than 4.3 million Swiss francs to thousands of people on the move.

IFRC Head of Emergency Operations for the Ukraine response, Anne Katherine Moore, said:

“The longer the conflict continues, the greater the needs become. The cost of basic necessities, such as fresh fruit and vegetables, is rising. Increases in the cost of fuel and apartment rentals are also being reported. Millions of people have lost their jobs and their savings are dwindling. Through a new mobile app, we have been able to ramp up our support to help people facing these financial challenges.”

The new technology makes it possible for the IFRC and responding National Societies to reach people at scale and to deliver cash assistance digitally. Successfully introduced in Romania, the mobile app allows refugees to self-register for assistance online, negating the need and cost involved of having to travel to a central location.

The app will soon be expanded to Poland and Slovakia, where cash assistance is already being provided through more traditional methods such as in-person registration, as well as Ukraine and other neighbouring countries.

“This is the fastest we have ever delivered cash at this scale. It has the potential to be a game-changer for our work not just in this response, but also in future operations,” Moore continued.

Cash assistance is a dignified and efficient way to support people impacted by the conflict, allowing them to purchase items specific to their individual needs, while also supporting local economies. It is one part of our integrated and wide-ranging Red Cross and Red Crescent response to the conflict that also includes the provision of health care, first aid, psychosocial support and the distribution of basic household necessities.

Speaking about next steps, Moore said: “There is no short-term solution to the needs of the more than 14 million people who have been forced to flee their homes. We know that even if the conflict was to end tomorrow, rebuilding and recovery will take years. People have lost their homes, their livelihoods, and access to timely healthcare. The IFRC, in support of local National Red Cross Societies in the region, will be there helping people now, and in the months and years to come.”

During the past three months:
  • Together, we have reached more than 2.1 million people with life-saving aid within Ukraine and in surrounding countries. This is 1 in 10 people who had to flee their homes because of the conflict.
  • Along the travel routes within and outside Ukraine, we’ve set up 142 Humanitarian Service Points in 15 countries to provide those fleeing with a safe environment. There, they receive essential services like food, hygiene items, blankets, clothing water, first aid, psychosocial support, information, and financial assistance.
  • In total, we distributed 2.3 million kilograms of aid.
  • 71,000 Red Cross and Red Crescent volunteers are responding to the crisis.

IFRCUKRAINE AND IMPACTED COUNTRIES CRISIS

https://www.ifrc.org/emergency/ukraine-and-impacted-countries

Due to the conflict escalation in Ukraine, millions of people have left their homes and crossed into neighbouring countries. The Ukrainian Red Cross is helping people affected by the conflict as the security situation allows. National Societies in surrounding countries, with support from the IFRC, are assisting people leaving Ukraine with shelter, basic aid items and medical supplies. People from Ukraine will need long-term, ongoing support. Our priority is addressing the humanitarian needs of all people affected by the conflict, inside and outside Ukraine.

IFRC

UKRAINE AND IMPACTED COUNTRIES CRISIS

EMERGENCY APPEAL

12 APRIL 2022

file:///C:/Users/Essed/Downloads/MGR65002ea1.pdf

[6]

FACEBOOK THE REFUGEE CIRCLE

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1172370492773108/

Saskia van Rees

 

8 dec 2021, door Anna Albot in the Guardian. Zij is met in Narewka, Polen, vlakbij de grens met Wit-Rusland.

Het helpen van vluchtelingen die verhongeren in de ijzige grensbossen van Polen is illegaal, maar het is niet de echte misdaad

Eén gedachte gaat constant door mijn hoofd: “Ik heb kinderen thuis, ik kan niet de cel in, ik kan niet de cel in.” De politiek ligt buiten mijn bereik of dat van de slachtoffers aan de grens tussen Polen en Wit-Rusland. Die gaat erom dat de vertrekkende Duitse kanselier Angela Merkel doordringt tot Alexander Loekasjenko, de president van Wit-Rusland. Het is ironisch dat deze grens meer dan 50 mediaploegen op de been heeft gebracht, maar Polen de enige plaats in de EU is waar journalisten niet vrijuit kunnen rapporteren.

Ondertussen nadert de strenge Noord-Europese winter en bevriezen mijn vingers in de donkere sneeuwnachten.

De grenssituatie laat de kloof zien tussen wat legaal is en wat moreel is. Hij beheerst de inspanningen van degenen die levens redden. Het enige wat wij, activisten in de bossen aan de grens tussen Polen en Wit-Rusland, kunnen doen is water, voedsel en kleding naar wanhopige mensen brengen. Maar deze fundamentele humanitaire daad, kan alleen in het geheim worden uitgevoerd. We moeten ons verstoppen en door de bossen sluipen. De aandacht trekken van grenswachten, politie of leger zou een nieuwe pushback kunnen forceren.

We ontmoeten bange ogen, uitgeputte gezichten, lichamen kapot door de kou … Bevroren, dorstige, hongerige mensen.

Ik heb verschillende groepen tussen de bomen ontmoet: gezinnen, moeders met kinderen, vaders met gehandicapte kinderen, ouderen en mensen uit de meest kwetsbare groepen ter wereld – etnisch, religieus en LGBTQ+. Ze zochten vrijheid, maar werden sinds augustus tot nu, december, vijf, tien en zelfs vijftien keer teruggedreven naar Wit-Rusland.

Tijdens mijn nachtelijke tochten ben ik uitgerust met een grote rugzak vol thermoskannen warme soep, sokken, laarzen, jassen, handschoenen, sjaals, mutsen, pleisters, medicijnen en powerbanks. Ik loop in het donker en verschuil me achter bomen als ik helikopters hoor of de felle lichten van de politie zie. Ik hoor het geplons van de soep in de kannen op mijn rug, ik hoor mijn kortademigheid – niemand heeft me geleerd om te sluipen en onzichtbaar te zijn als een beroepsmilitair. Ik heb jarenlang voor mensenrechten gewerkt, de meeste EU-grenzen en vluchtelingenkampen bezocht, maar ik was nooit bang om takken onder mijn voeten te laten kraken of voor het ritselen van de bomen boven mijn hoofd terwijl ik me voortbeweeg.

Uit persoonlijke verhalen en bewijzen verzameld door Minority Rights Group International en collega’s van Grupa Granica, een alliantie van 14 Poolse maatschappelijke organisaties die reageren op de crisis, weten we dat er minstens 5.000 mensen in de bossen zijn geweest en dat er momenteel minstens 1.000 zijn. We hebben met iedereen contact gehad: wanhopige slachtoffers van een walgelijk machtsspel tussen staten.

Elke keer dat we reageren op een telefoontje van iemand in nood, of hun moeder die nog in Irak of Afghanistan is, of een neef in Berlijn, hangen we onze rugzakken om en gaan. Dag en nacht – lang nadat de wereld zijn interesse heeft verloren. Soms zijn we uren op zoek naar mensen. Die veranderen voor de veiligheid vaak van locatie. Soms zijn bejaarde grootmoeders of de kleine kinderen die geen energie meer hebben om te lopen, gestrand in Poolse moerassen. Nu de bossen bedekt zijn met sneeuw en mensen ons niet kunnen bellen omdat hun telefoons zijn vernietigd door het Poolse leger, gebruiken we infrarood camera’s.

We ontmoeten bange ogen, uitgeputte gezichten, lichamen kapot door de kou, wanhopig verzwakt na weken in het ijzige, natte bos. Bevroren, dorstige, hongerige mensen. Ik had geen idee wat honger betekende. Ik gaf mijn kinderen wel eens een stuk chocola als ze klaagden voor het eten. Ik heb armoedestatistieken en geschiedenisboeken gelezen. Ik wist niets van honger.

Mensen aan de grens tussen Polen en Wit-Rusland hebben al weken niet gegeten. Om de paar dagen krijgen ze, als ze geld hebben, misschien een oude aardappel van een Wit-Russische soldaat na een gewelddadige pushback over het prikkeldraad. Die delen ze met de kinderen. Ze hebben dagenlang niets te drinken. Of drinken moeras- of regenwater, dat maagkrampen en een verlammende hoofdpijn veroorzaakt, waardoor ze verder verzwakken.

We wensen hen het beste aan het einde van onze ontmoeting. Voor een paar dagen voldoende voedsel en water achterlaten is onmogelijk: niemand heeft de kracht om zoveel te dragen. We kunnen geen mensen meenemen of naar een veilige plek brengen. Dat zou een strafbaar feit zijn. Maar het is geen misdaad om deze mensen langzaam dood te laten gaan…

Waar is het Rode Kruis, de Internationale Organisatie voor Migratie van de VN en de VN-vluchtelingenorganisatie? Die organisaties die zelfs in oorlogsgebieden opereren? Die voedsel en water naar de gevaarlijkste criminelen brengen? Is Elina, 5, gevaarlijker of minder waard? Ze heeft epilepsie, maar geen medicijnen. Ik ontmoette haar in het bos met negen andere Koerden, allemaal zonder laarzen. Ze hebben thuis oorlogen en luchtaanvallen overleefd, maar kunnen in het Poolse bos doodvriezen. Bij elke pushback pakken Poolse en Wit-Russische officieren alles af: geld, kleding en schoeisel.

Er was de groep van negen vrouwen uit de Democratische Republiek Congo, waarschijnlijk verhandeld. Toen ik ze de situatie uitlegde, huilden en huilden ze maar. Of de Yezidi-zussen, die zeven jaar geleden ontsnapten aan de genocide in Sinjar, Irak, maar nog steeds op zoek zijn naar een veilige plek. Of de jongens uit Jemen, die perfect Engels spreken. Of de drie homoseksuele mannen uit Iran, wanhopig om niet teruggestuurd te worden naar Wit-Russische soldaten.

We blijven contact houden. Als ze erin slagen hun telefoons te verbergen, kunnen we communiceren na een pushback. Ze delen foto’s en video’s van Wit-Russische honden. Laten me bijtwonden zien als we elkaar aan de Poolse kant ontmoeten. Zij huilen. Ze vragen om advies. Ze willen hun familie niet vertellen over hun benarde situatie, maar ze hebben iemand nodig om mee te praten.

“De vijfde pushback. Na de zesde pleeg ik zelfmoord.”

“Ik heb mijn zoon verloren, hij heeft astma. De laatste keer dat hij belde was drie dagen geleden. Weet je waar hij is?”

“Wanneer ben je hier? Heb je water? Al is het een druppel?”

Onderworpen aan een desinformatiecampagne krijgen de vluchtelingen tegenstrijdige berichten van Wit-Russische diensten, die formulieren verspreiden over de vestiging in Polen of Duitsland. Dit schept hoop op een veilige reis. Maar het echte doel is om ze aan de Poolse grens neer te zetten om druk uit te oefenen op de EU. Sommige verontrustende berichten suggereren dat migranten worden gedwongen om deel te nemen aan geweld als onderdeel van Wit-Russische pogingen om Poolse functionarissen te provoceren.

Met het risico van een escalatie van geweld willen wij, de activisten in de bossen, de wereld eraan herinneren dat vluchtelingen geen agressors zijn. Ze zijn gijzelaars van het regime van Loekasjenko, dat hen voor zijn agenda gebruikt.

Polen sturen me berichten: “Waar moet ik warme en donkere kleding naartoe sturen?” “Hoe is de situatie aan de grens? De media laten ons alleen video’s zien van het Poolse ministerie of de Wit-Russische autoriteiten.” “Ik huil als ik mijn kinderen in bed stop. Schrijf alsjeblieft iets dat kan helpen.”

Dunja Mijatović, de commissaris voor mensenrechten van de Raad van Europa, verbleef vier dagen in Polen en ging met ons mee het veld in. Ze zei: “De grootste kracht van de hulpbeweging voor vluchtelingen aan de grens tussen Polen en Wit-Rusland zijn de inwoners van de naburige steden – in de noodzone en ernaast. Het is hun compassie en empathie die het leven van mensen in het bos verlengt. Hun moed en onbaatzuchtigheid. Hun goedheid redt levens.”

Anderen zien het natuurlijk anders: mensen die aan de grens helpen zijn “vijanden van de natie”, “agenten van Loekasjenko”, “schuldig aan het vernietigen van Europese waarden”, “het uitnodigen van terroristen hier”.

We maken ons schuldig aan het achterlaten van pakken water in het bos voor de dorstigen. We maken ons schuldig aan het uitdelen van soep. Aan schoenen aan koude voeten doen die niet meer konden bewegen. Als helpen illegaal is, begrijpen we dan wel wat misdaad is?

Anna Alboth is vrijwilliger bij Minority Rights Group

[7]

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL

POLAND/BELARUS: NEW EVIDENCE OF ABUSES HIGHLIGHTS 

”HYPOCRISY” OF UNEQUAL TREATMENT OF ASYLUM SEEKERS

11 APRIL 2022

Poland/Belarus: New evidence of abuses highlights ‘hypocrisy’ of unequal treatment of asylum-seekers 

  • Authorities violating rights of asylum-seekers, including strip searches and other degrading treatment, in overcrowded detention centres
  • Some people forcibly sedated during return
  • Pushbacks and arbitrary detention in stark contrast with welcome shown to those fleeing Ukraine
  • Spokespeople available

The Polish authorities have arbitrarily detained nearly two thousand asylum-seekers who crossed into the country from Belarus in 2021, and subjected many of them to abuse, including strip searches in unsanitary, overcrowded facilities, and in some cases even to forcible sedation and tasering, Amnesty International said today.

Additionally, after a hiatus during winter, more asylum-seekers are now trying to enter Poland from Belarus, where they are unable to access further funds due to international sanctions and risk harassment or apprehension by Belarusian police due their irregular immigration status. At the Polish border they face razor wire fences and repeated pushbacks by border guards sometimes up to 20-30 times.

“This violent and degrading treatment stands in stark contrast to the warm welcome Poland is offering to displaced people arriving from Ukraine. The behaviour of the Polish authorities smacks of racism and hypocrisy. Poland must urgently extend its admirable compassion for those entering the country from Ukraine to all those crossing its borders to seek safety.”

Arbitrary detention and abysmal detention conditions

Polish border guards have systematically rounded up and violently pushed back people crossing from Belarus, sometimes threatening them with guns. The vast majority of those who have been fortunate enough to avoid being pushed back to Belarus and to apply for asylum in Poland are forced into automatic detention, without a proper assessment of their individual situation and the impact detention would have on their physical and mental health. They are often held for prolonged and indefinite periods of time in overcrowded centres that offer little privacy and only limited access to sanitary facilities, doctors, psychologists, or legal assistance.

Almost all of the people Amnesty International interviewed said they were  traumatized after fleeing areas of conflict and being trapped for months on the Belarusian-Polish border. They also suffered from serious psychological problems, including anxiety, insomnia, depression and frequent suicidal thoughts, undoubtedly exacerbated by their unnecessary metres. For most, psychological support was unavailable.

Retraumatized inside a military base

Many of the people who Amnesty spoke to had been in Wędrzyn detention centre, which holds up to 600 people. Overcrowding is particularly acute in this facility, where up to 24 men are detained in rooms measuring just eight square metres.

In 2021, the Polish authorities decreased the minimum required space for foreign detainees from three square meters per person to just two. The Council of Europe minimum standard for personal living space in prisons and detention centres is four square meters per person.

People held in Wędrzyn recounted how guards greeted new detainees  by saying “welcome to Guantánamo”. Many of them were victims of torture in their home countries before enduring harrowing experiences both in Belarus and on the border of Poland. The detention centre in Wędrzyn forms part of an active military base. The facility’s barbed wire walls — and the persistent sound of armoured vehicles, helicopters and gunfire from military exercises in the area — only serves to retraumatize them.

In Lesznowola Detention Centre, detainees said that guards’ treatment left them feeling dehumanized. The staff called detainees by their case numbers instead of using their names and meted out excessive punishments, including isolation, for simple requests, such as asking for a towel or more food.

Nearly all those interviewed reported consistently disrespectful and verbally abusive behaviour, racist remarks and other practices that indicated psychological ill-treatment. 

Men who Amnesty International interviewed uniformly  complained about the manner in which body searches were  conducted. When people were  transferred from one detention centre to another, they were forced to undergo a strip search at each facility, even though they were in state custody at all times. In Wędrzyn, people recounted abusive searches. For example, all newly admitted foreigners are kept together in a room, required to remove all of their clothes and ordered to perform squats longer than necessary for a legitimate check.

Violent forcible returns

Amnesty International interviewed several people who were forcibly returned as well as some who avoided return and remain in detention in Poland. Many said the Polish border guards who conducted the returns coerced them into signing documents in Polish that they suspected included incriminating information in order to justify their returns. They also said that, in some cases, border guards used excessive force, such as tasers, restrained people with handcuffs, and even sedated those being returned. 

Authorities attempted to forcibly return Yezda, a 30-year old Kurdish woman , with her husband and three small children. After being told that the family would be returned to Iraq, Yezda panicked and screamed and pleaded with the guards not to take them. She threatened to take her life and became extremely agitated. “I knew I could not go back to Iraq and I was ready to die in Poland. While I was crying like that, two guards restrained me and my husband, tied our hands behind our backs, and a doctor gave us an injection that made us very weak and sleepy. My head was not clear, but I could hear my children, who were in the room with us, crying and screaming.”

“We were asked to go through the airport security and the guards told us to behave on the plane. But I refused to go. I remember noticing that I didn’t even have any shoes on, as in the chaos at the camp, they slipped of my feet. My head was not clear, and I couldn’t see my husband or the children, but I remember that they forced me on the plane that was full of people. I was still crying and pleading with the police not to take us.” Yezda said that she broke her foot as she fought the guards who tried to put her on the plane. Yezda and her family were returned to Warsaw after the airline refused to take them to Iraq. They remain in a camp in Poland for now.

Volunteers and activists have been barred from accessing the border of Poland and Belarus, and some have even faced prosecution for trying to help people cross the border. In March, activists who had helped people both on Poland’s borders with Ukraine and with Belarus were detained for providing life-saving assistance to refugees and migrants on the Belarussian border, and now face potentially serious charges.

Stranded at the border

On 20 March, the Belarusian authorities reportedly evicted close to 700 refugees and migrants, including many families with young children and people suffering from severe illnesses and disabilities, from the warehouse in the Belarusian village of Bruzgi which had accommodated several thousand people in 2021.

People who were evicted from the warehouse suddenly found themselves stranded in the forest, trying to survive in sub-zero temperatures without shelter, food, water or access to medical care. Many remain in the forest and experience daily abuse from the Belarusian border guards, who use dogs and violence to force people to cross the border into Poland.

“Hundreds of people fleeing conflict in the Middle East and other parts of the world remain stranded on the border between Belarus and Poland. The Polish government must immediately stop pushbacks. They are illegal no matter how the government tries to justify them. The international community – including the EU – must demand that those trapped on Poland’s border with Belarus be afforded the same access to EU territory as any other group seeking refuge in Europe,” said Jelena Sesar.

END OF THE ARTICLE

REPORT AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL

POLAND: CRUELTY, NOT COMPASSION, AT EUROPE’S OTHER BORDERS

11 APRIL 2022

The rapid relief effort at the border, exceptional generosity of civil society and willingness of Polish authorities to receive people fleeing from Ukraine contrast starkly with the Polish government’s hostility toward refugees and migrants who have arrived in the country via Belarus since July 2021. Hundreds of people who crossed from Belarus have been arbitrarily detained in Poland in appalling conditions and without access to a fair asylum proceeding. Many have been forcibly returned to their countries of origin, some under sedation. In addition, hundreds of people remain stranded inside Belarus and face increasingly desperate conditions.

END OF THIS PIECE

FULL REPORT

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL

POLAND: CRUELTY, NOT COMPASSION, AT EUROPE’S OTHER BORDERS

11 APRIL 2022

https://www.amnesty.org/en/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/EUR3754602022ENGLISH.pdf

[8]

MEDICS LEAVE POLAND=BELARUS BORDER WITHOUT

REACHING MIGRANTS

https://www.dw.com/en/medics-leave-poland-belarus-border-without-reaching-migrants/a-60353514

Doctors Without Borders removed its team on the Belarus-Poland border after Warsaw blocked access to migrants trying to enter the European Union. Camped in harsh conditions, several people have died on the EU’s doorstep.

Despite knowing people along the Belarus-Poland border were “in desperate need of medical and humanitarian assistance,” the medical charity Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said it withdrew its emergency response team from the region.

“Since October, MSF has repeatedly requested access to the restricted area and the border guard posts in Poland, but without success,” Frauke Ossig, the charity’s emergency coordinator for Poland and Lithuania, said on Thursday.

“We know that there are still people crossing the border and hiding in the forest, in need of support, but while we are committed to assisting people on the move wherever they may be, we have not been able to reach them in Poland,” Ossig added.

MSF said it was concerned that restricting access to major aid organizations could result in more deaths and such policies were “another example of the EU deliberately creating unsafe conditions for people to seek asylum at its borders.”

While many of the migrants received shelter in a logistics center, a number of people are reported to have died in the freezing, harsh conditions along the border.

Why can’t aid groups reach migrants and asylum-seekers?

On December 1, Poland’s Interior Ministry extended a state of emergency that prohibits all non-residents, including journalists and non-governmental aid groups, from the border area.

“People are being attacked and beaten at the hands of border guards, and yet state officials continue to allow the practice of pushing people between borders knowing that such maltreatment continues,” MSF said.

With thousands of people on the Belarusian side of the 400-kilometer (250-mile) stretch, Poland built a barbed-wire fence that it intends to replace with a permanent barrier and sent thousands of soldiers to the border, leaving the migrants stuck in camps in no man’s land and unable to apply for asylum in the European Union.

Polish border guards accused of illegal ‘pushbacks’

Polish border guards have been accused of forcibly pushing migrants and asylum-seekers back into Belarus — a move that breaches international law. At least 21 people have lost their lives in the attempt in 2021, MSF reported.

In December, the Polish civil society group Salam Lab reported that five Syrian and one Palestinian who managed to find their way outside Poland’s exclusion zone said they had been pushed back to Belarus several times by Polish authorities.

EU nations Latvia and Lithuania, which also share borders with Belarus, have also reinforced their border security and declared a state of emergency. MSF said it had not received access to migrants at the Belarusian-Lithuanian border.

The European Union has accused Belarus’ authoritarian leader Alexander Lukashenko of encouraging people fleeing conflict and poverty in the Middle East to attempt to enter the EU through Belarus.

Belarus denies this and has urged the EU to take in the migrants.

“The current situation is unacceptable and inhumane,” Ossig said. “People have the right to seek safety and asylum and should not be illegitimately pushed back to Belarus.”

[9]

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL

POLAND/BELARUS: NEW EVIDENCE OF ABUSES HIGHLIGHTS 

”HYPOCRISY” OF UNEQUAL TREATMENT OF ASYLUM SEEKERS

11 APRIL 2022

SEE FOR FULL TEXT, NOTE 7

[10]

SEE NOTE 10

SEE ALSO THE LINK

SEE THE ASTRID ESSED MAIL TO THE INTERNATIONAL RED CROSS

SUBJECT OF THE MAIL:

”QUESTIONS ABOUT THE INTERNATIONAL RED CROSS ATTITUDE 

AGAINST UKRAINIAN REFUGEES VERSUS REFUGEES TRAPPED

BETWEEN BELARUS AND POLAND;”

MAIL:

Astrid Essed <astridessed@yahoo.com>

To:press@icrc.org

Cc:secretariat@ifrc.org,tommaso.dellalonga@ifrc.org,anna.tuson@ifrc.org,info@redcross.fi,info@redcross.byand 3 more…

Fri, May 27 at 3:03 AM

TO 

THE INTERNATIONAL RED CROSS

PRESIDENT AND ASSEMBLY

Subject:

Questions about the International Red Cross attitude against

Ukrainian refugees versus refugees trapped between Belarus and

Poland

Your mission as International Red Cross

The work of the ICRC is based on the Geneva Conventions of 1949, their Additional Protocols, its Statutes – and those of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement – and the resolutions of the International Conferences of the Red Cross and Red Crescent. The ICRC is an independent, neutral organization ensuring humanitarian protection and assistance for victims of armed conflict and other situations of violence. It takes action in response to emergencies and at the same time promotes respect for international humanitarian law and its implementation in national law.

https://www.icrc.org/en/who-we-are/mandate

[When you are pressed with time, go directly to the part below:

”QUESTIONS TO THE INTERNATIONAL RED CROSS”]

Dear President

Dear members of the Assembly,

Firstly my great appreciation for your fantastic and indispensable Work

through the whole world!

Without your humanitarian involvement and the sometimes great risks

your co workers take, life would be extremely difficult, if not impossible,

for the millions of people you are helping day after day.

But even the best of organisations need critical attention and have their 

flaws and that’s precisely the reason of this letter.

For in my opinion the International Red Cross attention for the Ukrainian

refugees, who have crossed the Polish Border is far more greater than the attention for the refugees, who tried to cross the Polish Border and are still trapped between the borders of Poland and Belarus.

Now I will not say, that the International Red Cross did nothing for these refugees.

On the contrary:

My great appreciation for the Good Work of the Finnish Red Cross, that 

helped those people wonderfully! [1]

I also appreciate the emergency calls and involvement

of the American Red Cross, The Belarus Red Cross, the Poland Red Cross,

the Lithuanian Red Cross and the other Red Cross departments [2]

Thank you, Finnish Red Cross [which gets this letter cc also]

and thank you, the other mentioned and peerhaps not mentioned Red Cross departments !

Also a Shout out to all those anonymous Polish people,

who helped refugees! [3]

And I express my appreciation to the president of the International

Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies mr F Rocca, who

stated, that thee should be no difference in the reception and protection

of refugees, whether they are Ukrainians or coming from other countries.

I quote him:

“The political, public and humanitarian response to the Ukraine crisis has shown what is possible when humanity and dignity comes first, when there is global solidarity and the will to assist and protect the most vulnerable,”and

“This must be extended to everyone in need, wherever they come from. Ethnicity and nationality should not be deciding factors in saving lives.” [4]

UKRAINIAN REFUGEES VERSUS REFUGEES, TRAPPED BETWEEN

POLAND AND BELARUS

I referred to the great attention of the International Red Cross to the Ukrainian

refugees [5] and don’t get me wrong:

I appreciate that very much and I think it is of the utmost importance to stand

for these people, who were the victims of the Russian invasion and had to flee their countries under so dramatic circumstances.

I sympathise with all refugees whoever they are and where they came from

and I know the International Red Cross does the same.

And yet, according to me, sometimes things go wrong.

Too often I learn from people from the field: Volunteers who do their utmost

to help those. who are trapped between the borders of Belarus and Poland, that

the Red Cross is not, or not enough, present to help the between border refugees”:

I quote something that made great impression on me:

It’s from mrs Anna Albot, a spokeswoman for the Polish Minority

Right Group [also mentioned in cc] and member of the Grupa Granica:

Quote: [first in Dutch, then translation in English]:

”Waar is het Rode Kruis, de Internationale Organisatie voor Migratie van de VN en de VN-vluchtelingenorganisatie? Die organisaties die zelfs in oorlogsgebieden opereren? Die voedsel en water naar de gevaarlijkste criminelen brengen? Is Elina, 5, gevaarlijker of minder waard? ” [6]

In English:

”Where is the Red Cross, The International Organisation for Migration

of the UN and the UNHCR? 

Those organisations which even operate in warzones?

Which bring food and water to the most dangerous criminals?

Is Elina, 5, more dangerous and worth less?

Mrs Albot also published this article in the Guardian [8 december 2021]

QUESTIONS TO THE INTERNATIONAL RED CROSS

This was in december 2021

And to my knowledge, the situation of the refugees, trapped

in the Polish-Belarussian border is yet inhuman, as is the

situation of the refugees, who reached Poland and are in

Polish detention centres in dire conditions.

See the statement of Amnesty International [7]

Now I had the impression, that on this moment, the main attention

of the International Cross goes to the Ukrainian refugees and that the

trapped refugees between Poland and Belarus are somewhat forgotten.

When I am wrong, please send me the information about

your involvement in the no one land between those borders.

When I am NOT wrong, please explain to me, why the International

Red Cross shows less attention to those refugees:

Are you being hindered in your activities, something volunteers have experienced in the past months? [8]

And if that’s so, what did you do, as an International Organisation, to

address to this situation?

Did you write to the Polish and Belarussian authorities?

Did you gave press conferences about this?

Did you try to visit the Polish detention centres, where, according to the

information of Amnesty International, the border refugees are being

mistreated and denied their right to asylum? [9]

If not, why not?

Because you are hindered in your activities?

And again the question:

If you are hindered in your activities, what did you do to protest and get access anyway, as

is your right and obligation as the International Red Cross?

And when, suppose you HAD access to the mentioned detention centres and

were not hindered in your activities, why did you give more attention

to the Ukrainian refugees then to those trapped between Belarus and

Poland.

Again, I don’t say you on purpose neglected those between borders refugees, I only had the impression more attention went to the Ukrainian refugees, who have, of course, the full right to your attention, only not more then

others.

EPILOGUE

Dear president, members of the International Red Cross, I hope you

forgive me my bold and critical questions, but they were necessary:

Like Amnesty International [10] I am very concerned about the

inhuman situation of the refugees between the border, as their reception in

Poland, that is quite different from the warm welcome

the Ukrainian refugees received, as it should be for all refugees.

You as a great humanitarian organisation can make the difference and

show the World and especially the European leaders, that all refugees 

must be treated and received humanely, regardless where they came from

or what their origins are.

Do your best.

The refugees count on you!

And if you’re pressed with time and can’t answer me, no problem

All I want is that you do your humanitarian task to all refugees,

whoever they are

Thank you

Kind greetings

Astrid Essed

Amsterdam 

The Netherlands

NOTES

[1]

THE FINISH RED CROSS

THE RED CROSS IS HELPING MIGRANTS STRUGGLING IN

DANGEROUS CONDITIONS AT THE EU’S EASTERN BORDER

24 NOVEMBER 2021

https://www.redcross.fi/news/2021/the-red-cross-is-helping-migrants-struggling-in-dangerous-conditions-at-the-eus-eastern-border/

The situation of migrants trying to enter the EU at the border of Poland, Lithuania and Belarus is alarming. Thousands of migrants have been stuck on the border region since early autumn. The situation of people sleeping without shelter is expected to worsen as the winter approaches.

The Belarusian, Polish and Lithuanian Red Cross organisations are helping migrants at the borders by distributing food, clean water, hygiene supplies, clothes and blankets and by offering essential health care.

The health of the people sleeping rough is at continuous risk. At least 10 people are known to have died. Among them, a 14-year-old boy who died of hypothermia.

“There are hundreds of children at the border, many of whom have been separated from their families. The are also pregnant women and disabled people among the migrants. Their situation is worsening by the hour as the crisis drags on and nights become colder,” says the Director of International Operations at the Finnish Red Cross Tiina Saarikoski.

“All states are obliged to ensure that humanitarian aid gets through to its target. People have the right to necessary protection, care and safety, regardless of whether they are granted the right to stay in the country or not.”

The International Committee of the Red Cross helps migrants establish contact with their family members. 

The Finnish Red Cross maintains preparedness for large-scale migration as part of its continuous readiness. As agreed with the authorities, the Red Cross is permanently prepared to establish and maintain reception centres and temporary accommodation units at the request of the authorities.

The Finnish Red Cross has not received official requests in relation to the situation in Poland, Lithuania and Belarus. 
 
“The most important thing right now is to deliver necessary aid to the migrants in unsafe conditions and allow humanitarian operators to provide aid,” Saarikoski emphasises. 

[2]

AMERICAN RED CROSS

THOUSANDS AT BELARUS BORDER IN NEED

OF HUMANITARIAN AID

https://www.redcross.org/about-us/news-and-events/news/2021/thousands-at-belarus-border-in-need-of-humanitarian-aid.html

November 15, 2021

The Red Cross is urgently providing relief efforts as thousands of people risk their lives in freezing conditions along the Belarus-Poland border. At least 10 people have died and an estimated 2,000 people are living in makeshift camps near the border between Belarus and neighboring countries Poland, Lithuania and Latvia. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) urges unhindered access to the border be provided to help the men, women and children risking their lives for a safer future. 

Belarus Red Cross has been coordinating aid from partners since last week, distributing food, water, blankets and warm clothes. Staff and volunteers are involved in a continuous response to the situation, sorting and distributing packages, as well as helping authorities set up heating tents for women and children. Assistance was also provided for three children who were hospitalized.

“We are concerned about the increasingly serious situation on the Poland-Belarus border, after large groups of migrants arrived there on November 8. We call for access for the Red Cross and other humanitarian organizations so that all people in need, at the border and other locations, can receive medical treatment, humanitarian assistance and protection services,” said Andreas von Weissenberg, IFRC Europe’s head of Disasters, Climate and Crises.

“While Belarus Red Cross has thankfully been given some access to provide vital life-saving aid to people enduring hunger and freezing conditions, we need that access to be regular and also get access on the other side of the border. People need to be treated humanely,” von Weissenberg said.

The Polish Red Cross has been responding to this crisis for several weeks, delivering blankets, sleeping bags and clothes. Local branches are supporting migrants in provinces near the border with food, water and hygiene kits, as well as providing first aid and helping people trace family members.

Lithuanian Red Cross teams have also been supporting migrants close to the border with water, hygiene kits, footwear and clothing, as well as toys for children. In five large reception centers, volunteers provide food and other humanitarian aid, offer psychological support and legal assistance and help people reconnect with their loved ones by providing mobile phones and SIM cards.

IFRC is in the process of providing the Belarus Red Cross, Polish Red Cross and Lithuanian Red Cross with emergency funding to support the migrants with food, clothes, hygiene items, first aid and family reunification services.

“Humanitarian organizations must be granted unconditional and safe access to all people in need, irrespective of their legal status. People are crossing the border with just the clothes on their backs. They need food, medicine, hygiene items, clothing, and protective equipment against COVID-19. We must be allowed to deliver critical assistance and we want to see a peaceful, humane and rights-based solution to the situation,” von Weissenberg concluded. 

[3]

24/7  NEWS BULLETIN

IT’S HEART BREAKING: HOW POLISH VOLUNTEERS

RESCUE POVERTY STRICKEN MIGRANTS AT

THE BELARUSIAN BORDER

11 NOVEMBER 2021

While the official Warsaw refuses to let in the migrants who have accumulated on the Belarusian border, not wanting to recognize them as refugees, many Poles express a desire to help people in difficult situations.

In the Polish media, you can see lists of various NGOs that are involved in helping migrants, as well as talk about ways to help them. One of the most popular is called a financial donation, but it is also suggested to become a volunteer working with refugees. The monetary contributions are spent on humanitarian transportation, shelter, medical and legal assistance, and integration with the host society.

“You don’t have to be at the border to help refugees,” writes Gazeta Wyborcza. “We can’t do much on this issue, but here’s exactly what we can: offer a blanket, a sleeping bag or waterproof clothing.”

Among the organizations that help refugees and migrants, mention is made, for example, of Caritas Polska, which carries out humanitarian aid campaigns both in Poland and abroad. This organization operates centers for refugees and migrants in Szczecin, Kalisz and Warsaw, providing systematic assistance in the field of intercultural integration, career counseling, psychological and legal assistance, classes in community centers and educational packages. Since the beginning of the current migration crisis at the Polish-Belarusian border, Caritas Polska has been organizing humanitarian transfers to centers where foreigners arrive, providing migrants with food, detergents, hygiene items, and blankets.

Helping migrants and the Polish Red Cross collecting material gifts for aid packages for migrants. Donations are accepted at Red Cross offices throughout Poland. Currently, the most in demand are: jackets, sweaters, thick socks, warm shoes, hats, scarves, blankets and sleeping bags. At the same time, clothes and shoes must be new or used, but in good condition. High-energy products are accepted (bars, chocolate, dried fruits), as well as other food products (pies and other canned poultry, canned fish, crackers, waffles, etc.).

The Polish non-governmental humanitarian organization Grupa Granica, which monitors the situation on the Polish-Belarusian border, believes that refugees need to be rescued as soon as possible. Indeed, if the Polish border police finds injured migrants before doctors, they send them back to Belarus, explaining this step by the fact that their health condition may deteriorate at any time, and the risk of death in such conditions is great.

The Guardian tells how 15 Iraqi Kurds ended up in the forests of the Polish village of Narewka after they managed to cross the border of Belarus and the European Union. All migrants had early signs of hypothermia. One woman could hardly walk. They had no choice but to turn to volunteers for help. A team from Grupa Granica, before the border guards, found migrants who found themselves in completely extreme conditions. It was already starting to get dark, and the temperature dropped to almost zero degrees. Volunteers distributed blankets and hot tea to people.

After some time, the police arrived in the forest. Up to this point, volunteers have explained to the frozen migrants how to properly apply for asylum.

“We have about eight teams operating near the border and a total of about 40 people,” Anna Albot, a spokeswoman for the Polish Minority Rights Group and member of Grupa Granica, told The Guardian. – Whenever we receive calls from migrant families, we send a request to our teams and check who is closest to the place. People often ask for food, water, a doctor, or clothing. The other day I met a Syrian family who didn’t even have shoes. ”

Anna Chmielewska, coordinator of the Center for Assistance to Foreigners in Warsaw, noted that “it is difficult to work in the border zone for several reasons”. First, the Polish police stop the cars of the volunteers a few kilometers before the Kuznitsa checkpoint on the Polish-Belarusian border. The fact is that three kilometers from the border begins the territory on which the state of emergency is in force, so access to it is prohibited.

“We cannot get into this zone and help the people who are there,” she added. “Only local residents can do this.” According to her, volunteers only have the opportunity to contact migrants only when they can pass the border zone: “But not everyone succeeds in doing this. Winter is coming and people are not ready to stay outside in the cold day after day. We are afraid that bad weather will lead to more deaths. It’s heartbreaking for us. “

In addition, the activist said that border police officers often behave quite aggressively. “We are not doing anything illegal, but they make us feel like we are violators,” Khmelevska said. “Helping people is okay. But in the current situation we seem to be engaged in secret activities. “

According to a representative of another non-governmental Polish organization, Medycy na granicy (Doctors at the Border – MK), border guards periodically obstruct the provision of medical assistance to migrants.

On their official Facebook page, the volunteers reported that before going on another call, they found that the ambulance’s wheels had been deflated. In addition, the doctors found “people in uniform” at the service car, and an olive-colored car with registration numbers beginning with the letters denoting the off-road vehicles of the Polish army stood nearby, the report said.

The doctors added that they tried to talk to the people sitting in the car, but they left almost immediately. Then they turned to the Ministry of National Defense of Poland with a request to “urgently provide clarification regarding this shameful incident.”

The department gave a response almost immediately. “The soldiers of the Polish army have no relation to the damage to the ambulance at the border,” the ministry’s press service informed. “They have much more serious questions than the denial of fake news in the media space.”

At the same time, such situations do not lead volunteers astray. They continue to provide assistance to refugees. On their social networks, doctors posted a post in five languages – English, French, Arabic, Persian and Kurdish – with the following content: “If you or someone from your family needs any humanitarian or medical assistance on the Polish-Belarusian border, write US. We will connect you with the right people. “

Those wishing to help migrants have to face not only opposition from the authorities. After one of the theaters in the city of Legnica began collecting gifts for refugees on the Polish-Belarusian border, it was attacked by haters on the Internet. “But there are more people willing to help,” says one of the initiators of the action.

In this regard, Polish volunteers are pleased to know that activists from Germany are trying to help migrants stranded on the Polish-Belarusian border. According to the Polish Internet resource Oko.press, a group of German volunteers came to Poland to deliver parcels for refugees to local organizations, show solidarity with immigrants and protest against the actions of the Polish authorities and the inaction of German politicians.

“We have free seats on the bus,” says one of the activists Ruben Neugebauer. “We could take people who need help with us. If only the German government would agree to this … We call on the German authorities to create humanitarian corridors on the Polish-Belarusian border. This should be one of the priorities of the government that is currently being formed in Germany. “

.

Source From: MK

[4]

IFRC PRESIDENT: ETHNICITY AND NATIONALITY SHOULD NOT

BE DECIDING FACTORS IN SAVING LIVES

16 MAY 2022/PRESS RELEASE

https://www.ifrc.org/press-release/ifrc-president-ethnicity-and-nationality-should-not-be-deciding-factors-saving-lives

New York / Geneva, 16 May 2022 – President of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) Francesco Rocca calls on states to step up to their responsibility to save lives, no matter where people are from, ahead of the first review of the Global Compact for Migration (GCM).

Mr Rocca says: “When I was in Marrakech for the adoption of the GCM I made a statement that the world’s approach to migration is painfully broken – but that the GCM can fix it. As we begin the first review of the progress made since then, I am sad to say that this has not been the case so far. Not enough changes to policies and practices to ensure safe and dignified migration have taken place, and many more lives have been lost due to that failure to act.”

On the world’s deadliest sea migration route, the central Mediterranean, the number of deaths has in fact increased since the GCM was signed. The Ocean Viking ship, operated by SOS Mediterranée with IFRC providing humanitarian services on board, saves people in distress on this route.

“We need to carry out this work as state-coordinated search and rescue is absent in the area,” says Mr Rocca. “Our teams have already saved 1,260 people in the nine months we’ve been operating.”

The Ocean Viking is one of the 330 Humanitarian Service Points (HSPs) in 45 countries that supports the ambitions of the GCM, providing assistance and protection to people on the move irrespective of status and without fear of reprisal. The Romanian Red Cross implements HSPs in Bucharest to support people fleeing Ukraine, providing information, food, water, hygiene items and financial assistance, while the Hungarian Red Cross has been operating a HSP at the Keleti railway station 24/7 to welcome people arriving from Ukraine by train with information, food, hygiene items and baby care products.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Colombian Red Cross Society has implemented HSPs at the border with Venezuela, offering essential services like healthcare, while Libyan Red Crescent volunteers have provided support to migrants and displaced people, operating HSPs that provided access to information, food, and other necessities, as well as restoring family links services.

At the International Migration Review Forum (IMRF), the IFRC is calling for individual and collective efforts on search and rescue; ensuring access to essential services for migrants regardless of status; scaling up support to people affected of climate related displacement; and the inclusion of migrants in all aspects of society and decision making.

“The political, public and humanitarian response to the Ukraine crisis has shown what is possible when humanity and dignity comes first, when there is global solidarity and the will to assist and protect the most vulnerable,” says Mr Rocca. “This must be extended to everyone in need, wherever they come from. Ethnicity and nationality should not be deciding factors in saving lives.”

[5]

THE INTERNATIONAL RED CROSS AND THE UKRAINE

https://www.icrc.org/en/humanitarian-crisis-ukraine

IFRC SCALES UP CASH ASSISTANCE TO PEOPLE IMPACTED

BY CONFLICT IN UKRAINE

23 MAY 2022

https://www.ifrc.org/article/ifrc-scales-cash-assistance-people-impacted-conflict-ukraine

Three months into the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) has distributed financial assistance totalling more than 4.3 million Swiss francs to thousands of people on the move.

IFRC Head of Emergency Operations for the Ukraine response, Anne Katherine Moore, said:

“The longer the conflict continues, the greater the needs become. The cost of basic necessities, such as fresh fruit and vegetables, is rising. Increases in the cost of fuel and apartment rentals are also being reported. Millions of people have lost their jobs and their savings are dwindling. Through a new mobile app, we have been able to ramp up our support to help people facing these financial challenges.”

The new technology makes it possible for the IFRC and responding National Societies to reach people at scale and to deliver cash assistance digitally. Successfully introduced in Romania, the mobile app allows refugees to self-register for assistance online, negating the need and cost involved of having to travel to a central location.

The app will soon be expanded to Poland and Slovakia, where cash assistance is already being provided through more traditional methods such as in-person registration, as well as Ukraine and other neighbouring countries.

“This is the fastest we have ever delivered cash at this scale. It has the potential to be a game-changer for our work not just in this response, but also in future operations,” Moore continued.

Cash assistance is a dignified and efficient way to support people impacted by the conflict, allowing them to purchase items specific to their individual needs, while also supporting local economies. It is one part of our integrated and wide-ranging Red Cross and Red Crescent response to the conflict that also includes the provision of health care, first aid, psychosocial support and the distribution of basic household necessities.

Speaking about next steps, Moore said: “There is no short-term solution to the needs of the more than 14 million people who have been forced to flee their homes. We know that even if the conflict was to end tomorrow, rebuilding and recovery will take years. People have lost their homes, their livelihoods, and access to timely healthcare. The IFRC, in support of local National Red Cross Societies in the region, will be there helping people now, and in the months and years to come.”

During the past three months:
  • Together, we have reached more than 2.1 million people with life-saving aid within Ukraine and in surrounding countries. This is 1 in 10 people who had to flee their homes because of the conflict.
  • Along the travel routes within and outside Ukraine, we’ve set up 142 Humanitarian Service Points in 15 countries to provide those fleeing with a safe environment. There, they receive essential services like food, hygiene items, blankets, clothing water, first aid, psychosocial support, information, and financial assistance.
  • In total, we distributed 2.3 million kilograms of aid.
  • 71,000 Red Cross and Red Crescent volunteers are responding to the crisis.

IFRCUKRAINE AND IMPACTED COUNTRIES CRISIS

https://www.ifrc.org/emergency/ukraine-and-impacted-countries

Due to the conflict escalation in Ukraine, millions of people have left their homes and crossed into neighbouring countries. The Ukrainian Red Cross is helping people affected by the conflict as the security situation allows. National Societies in surrounding countries, with support from the IFRC, are assisting people leaving Ukraine with shelter, basic aid items and medical supplies. People from Ukraine will need long-term, ongoing support. Our priority is addressing the humanitarian needs of all people affected by the conflict, inside and outside Ukraine.

IFRC

UKRAINE AND IMPACTED COUNTRIES CRISIS

EMERGENCY APPEAL

12 APRIL 2022

file:///C:/Users/Essed/Downloads/MGR65002ea1.pdf

[6]

FACEBOOK THE REFUGEE CIRCLE

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1172370492773108/

Saskia van Rees

 

8 dec 2021, door Anna Albot in the Guardian. Zij is met in Narewka, Polen, vlakbij de grens met Wit-Rusland.

Het helpen van vluchtelingen die verhongeren in de ijzige grensbossen van Polen is illegaal, maar het is niet de echte misdaad

Eén gedachte gaat constant door mijn hoofd: “Ik heb kinderen thuis, ik kan niet de cel in, ik kan niet de cel in.” De politiek ligt buiten mijn bereik of dat van de slachtoffers aan de grens tussen Polen en Wit-Rusland. Die gaat erom dat de vertrekkende Duitse kanselier Angela Merkel doordringt tot Alexander Loekasjenko, de president van Wit-Rusland. Het is ironisch dat deze grens meer dan 50 mediaploegen op de been heeft gebracht, maar Polen de enige plaats in de EU is waar journalisten niet vrijuit kunnen rapporteren.

Ondertussen nadert de strenge Noord-Europese winter en bevriezen mijn vingers in de donkere sneeuwnachten.

De grenssituatie laat de kloof zien tussen wat legaal is en wat moreel is. Hij beheerst de inspanningen van degenen die levens redden. Het enige wat wij, activisten in de bossen aan de grens tussen Polen en Wit-Rusland, kunnen doen is water, voedsel en kleding naar wanhopige mensen brengen. Maar deze fundamentele humanitaire daad, kan alleen in het geheim worden uitgevoerd. We moeten ons verstoppen en door de bossen sluipen. De aandacht trekken van grenswachten, politie of leger zou een nieuwe pushback kunnen forceren.

We ontmoeten bange ogen, uitgeputte gezichten, lichamen kapot door de kou … Bevroren, dorstige, hongerige mensen.

Ik heb verschillende groepen tussen de bomen ontmoet: gezinnen, moeders met kinderen, vaders met gehandicapte kinderen, ouderen en mensen uit de meest kwetsbare groepen ter wereld – etnisch, religieus en LGBTQ+. Ze zochten vrijheid, maar werden sinds augustus tot nu, december, vijf, tien en zelfs vijftien keer teruggedreven naar Wit-Rusland.

Tijdens mijn nachtelijke tochten ben ik uitgerust met een grote rugzak vol thermoskannen warme soep, sokken, laarzen, jassen, handschoenen, sjaals, mutsen, pleisters, medicijnen en powerbanks. Ik loop in het donker en verschuil me achter bomen als ik helikopters hoor of de felle lichten van de politie zie. Ik hoor het geplons van de soep in de kannen op mijn rug, ik hoor mijn kortademigheid – niemand heeft me geleerd om te sluipen en onzichtbaar te zijn als een beroepsmilitair. Ik heb jarenlang voor mensenrechten gewerkt, de meeste EU-grenzen en vluchtelingenkampen bezocht, maar ik was nooit bang om takken onder mijn voeten te laten kraken of voor het ritselen van de bomen boven mijn hoofd terwijl ik me voortbeweeg.

Uit persoonlijke verhalen en bewijzen verzameld door Minority Rights Group International en collega’s van Grupa Granica, een alliantie van 14 Poolse maatschappelijke organisaties die reageren op de crisis, weten we dat er minstens 5.000 mensen in de bossen zijn geweest en dat er momenteel minstens 1.000 zijn. We hebben met iedereen contact gehad: wanhopige slachtoffers van een walgelijk machtsspel tussen staten.

Elke keer dat we reageren op een telefoontje van iemand in nood, of hun moeder die nog in Irak of Afghanistan is, of een neef in Berlijn, hangen we onze rugzakken om en gaan. Dag en nacht – lang nadat de wereld zijn interesse heeft verloren. Soms zijn we uren op zoek naar mensen. Die veranderen voor de veiligheid vaak van locatie. Soms zijn bejaarde grootmoeders of de kleine kinderen die geen energie meer hebben om te lopen, gestrand in Poolse moerassen. Nu de bossen bedekt zijn met sneeuw en mensen ons niet kunnen bellen omdat hun telefoons zijn vernietigd door het Poolse leger, gebruiken we infrarood camera’s.

We ontmoeten bange ogen, uitgeputte gezichten, lichamen kapot door de kou, wanhopig verzwakt na weken in het ijzige, natte bos. Bevroren, dorstige, hongerige mensen. Ik had geen idee wat honger betekende. Ik gaf mijn kinderen wel eens een stuk chocola als ze klaagden voor het eten. Ik heb armoedestatistieken en geschiedenisboeken gelezen. Ik wist niets van honger.

Mensen aan de grens tussen Polen en Wit-Rusland hebben al weken niet gegeten. Om de paar dagen krijgen ze, als ze geld hebben, misschien een oude aardappel van een Wit-Russische soldaat na een gewelddadige pushback over het prikkeldraad. Die delen ze met de kinderen. Ze hebben dagenlang niets te drinken. Of drinken moeras- of regenwater, dat maagkrampen en een verlammende hoofdpijn veroorzaakt, waardoor ze verder verzwakken.

We wensen hen het beste aan het einde van onze ontmoeting. Voor een paar dagen voldoende voedsel en water achterlaten is onmogelijk: niemand heeft de kracht om zoveel te dragen. We kunnen geen mensen meenemen of naar een veilige plek brengen. Dat zou een strafbaar feit zijn. Maar het is geen misdaad om deze mensen langzaam dood te laten gaan…

Waar is het Rode Kruis, de Internationale Organisatie voor Migratie van de VN en de VN-vluchtelingenorganisatie? Die organisaties die zelfs in oorlogsgebieden opereren? Die voedsel en water naar de gevaarlijkste criminelen brengen? Is Elina, 5, gevaarlijker of minder waard? Ze heeft epilepsie, maar geen medicijnen. Ik ontmoette haar in het bos met negen andere Koerden, allemaal zonder laarzen. Ze hebben thuis oorlogen en luchtaanvallen overleefd, maar kunnen in het Poolse bos doodvriezen. Bij elke pushback pakken Poolse en Wit-Russische officieren alles af: geld, kleding en schoeisel.

Er was de groep van negen vrouwen uit de Democratische Republiek Congo, waarschijnlijk verhandeld. Toen ik ze de situatie uitlegde, huilden en huilden ze maar. Of de Yezidi-zussen, die zeven jaar geleden ontsnapten aan de genocide in Sinjar, Irak, maar nog steeds op zoek zijn naar een veilige plek. Of de jongens uit Jemen, die perfect Engels spreken. Of de drie homoseksuele mannen uit Iran, wanhopig om niet teruggestuurd te worden naar Wit-Russische soldaten.

We blijven contact houden. Als ze erin slagen hun telefoons te verbergen, kunnen we communiceren na een pushback. Ze delen foto’s en video’s van Wit-Russische honden. Laten me bijtwonden zien als we elkaar aan de Poolse kant ontmoeten. Zij huilen. Ze vragen om advies. Ze willen hun familie niet vertellen over hun benarde situatie, maar ze hebben iemand nodig om mee te praten.

“De vijfde pushback. Na de zesde pleeg ik zelfmoord.”

“Ik heb mijn zoon verloren, hij heeft astma. De laatste keer dat hij belde was drie dagen geleden. Weet je waar hij is?”

“Wanneer ben je hier? Heb je water? Al is het een druppel?”

Onderworpen aan een desinformatiecampagne krijgen de vluchtelingen tegenstrijdige berichten van Wit-Russische diensten, die formulieren verspreiden over de vestiging in Polen of Duitsland. Dit schept hoop op een veilige reis. Maar het echte doel is om ze aan de Poolse grens neer te zetten om druk uit te oefenen op de EU. Sommige verontrustende berichten suggereren dat migranten worden gedwongen om deel te nemen aan geweld als onderdeel van Wit-Russische pogingen om Poolse functionarissen te provoceren.

Met het risico van een escalatie van geweld willen wij, de activisten in de bossen, de wereld eraan herinneren dat vluchtelingen geen agressors zijn. Ze zijn gijzelaars van het regime van Loekasjenko, dat hen voor zijn agenda gebruikt.

Polen sturen me berichten: “Waar moet ik warme en donkere kleding naartoe sturen?” “Hoe is de situatie aan de grens? De media laten ons alleen video’s zien van het Poolse ministerie of de Wit-Russische autoriteiten.” “Ik huil als ik mijn kinderen in bed stop. Schrijf alsjeblieft iets dat kan helpen.”

Dunja Mijatović, de commissaris voor mensenrechten van de Raad van Europa, verbleef vier dagen in Polen en ging met ons mee het veld in. Ze zei: “De grootste kracht van de hulpbeweging voor vluchtelingen aan de grens tussen Polen en Wit-Rusland zijn de inwoners van de naburige steden – in de noodzone en ernaast. Het is hun compassie en empathie die het leven van mensen in het bos verlengt. Hun moed en onbaatzuchtigheid. Hun goedheid redt levens.”

Anderen zien het natuurlijk anders: mensen die aan de grens helpen zijn “vijanden van de natie”, “agenten van Loekasjenko”, “schuldig aan het vernietigen van Europese waarden”, “het uitnodigen van terroristen hier”.

We maken ons schuldig aan het achterlaten van pakken water in het bos voor de dorstigen. We maken ons schuldig aan het uitdelen van soep. Aan schoenen aan koude voeten doen die niet meer konden bewegen. Als helpen illegaal is, begrijpen we dan wel wat misdaad is?

Anna Alboth is vrijwilliger bij Minority Rights Group

[7]

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL

POLAND/BELARUS: NEW EVIDENCE OF ABUSES HIGHLIGHTS 

”HYPOCRISY” OF UNEQUAL TREATMENT OF ASYLUM SEEKERS

11 APRIL 2022

Poland/Belarus: New evidence of abuses highlights ‘hypocrisy’ of unequal treatment of asylum-seekers 

  • Authorities violating rights of asylum-seekers, including strip searches and other degrading treatment, in overcrowded detention centres
  • Some people forcibly sedated during return
  • Pushbacks and arbitrary detention in stark contrast with welcome shown to those fleeing Ukraine
  • Spokespeople available

The Polish authorities have arbitrarily detained nearly two thousand asylum-seekers who crossed into the country from Belarus in 2021, and subjected many of them to abuse, including strip searches in unsanitary, overcrowded facilities, and in some cases even to forcible sedation and tasering, Amnesty International said today.

Additionally, after a hiatus during winter, more asylum-seekers are now trying to enter Poland from Belarus, where they are unable to access further funds due to international sanctions and risk harassment or apprehension by Belarusian police due their irregular immigration status. At the Polish border they face razor wire fences and repeated pushbacks by border guards sometimes up to 20-30 times.

“This violent and degrading treatment stands in stark contrast to the warm welcome Poland is offering to displaced people arriving from Ukraine. The behaviour of the Polish authorities smacks of racism and hypocrisy. Poland must urgently extend its admirable compassion for those entering the country from Ukraine to all those crossing its borders to seek safety.”

Arbitrary detention and abysmal detention conditions

Polish border guards have systematically rounded up and violently pushed back people crossing from Belarus, sometimes threatening them with guns. The vast majority of those who have been fortunate enough to avoid being pushed back to Belarus and to apply for asylum in Poland are forced into automatic detention, without a proper assessment of their individual situation and the impact detention would have on their physical and mental health. They are often held for prolonged and indefinite periods of time in overcrowded centres that offer little privacy and only limited access to sanitary facilities, doctors, psychologists, or legal assistance.

Almost all of the people Amnesty International interviewed said they were  traumatized after fleeing areas of conflict and being trapped for months on the Belarusian-Polish border. They also suffered from serious psychological problems, including anxiety, insomnia, depression and frequent suicidal thoughts, undoubtedly exacerbated by their unnecessary metres. For most, psychological support was unavailable.

Retraumatized inside a military base

Many of the people who Amnesty spoke to had been in Wędrzyn detention centre, which holds up to 600 people. Overcrowding is particularly acute in this facility, where up to 24 men are detained in rooms measuring just eight square metres.

In 2021, the Polish authorities decreased the minimum required space for foreign detainees from three square meters per person to just two. The Council of Europe minimum standard for personal living space in prisons and detention centres is four square meters per person.

People held in Wędrzyn recounted how guards greeted new detainees  by saying “welcome to Guantánamo”. Many of them were victims of torture in their home countries before enduring harrowing experiences both in Belarus and on the border of Poland. The detention centre in Wędrzyn forms part of an active military base. The facility’s barbed wire walls — and the persistent sound of armoured vehicles, helicopters and gunfire from military exercises in the area — only serves to retraumatize them.

In Lesznowola Detention Centre, detainees said that guards’ treatment left them feeling dehumanized. The staff called detainees by their case numbers instead of using their names and meted out excessive punishments, including isolation, for simple requests, such as asking for a towel or more food.

Nearly all those interviewed reported consistently disrespectful and verbally abusive behaviour, racist remarks and other practices that indicated psychological ill-treatment. 

Men who Amnesty International interviewed uniformly  complained about the manner in which body searches were  conducted. When people were  transferred from one detention centre to another, they were forced to undergo a strip search at each facility, even though they were in state custody at all times. In Wędrzyn, people recounted abusive searches. For example, all newly admitted foreigners are kept together in a room, required to remove all of their clothes and ordered to perform squats longer than necessary for a legitimate check.

Violent forcible returns

Amnesty International interviewed several people who were forcibly returned as well as some who avoided return and remain in detention in Poland. Many said the Polish border guards who conducted the returns coerced them into signing documents in Polish that they suspected included incriminating information in order to justify their returns. They also said that, in some cases, border guards used excessive force, such as tasers, restrained people with handcuffs, and even sedated those being returned. 

Authorities attempted to forcibly return Yezda, a 30-year old Kurdish woman , with her husband and three small children. After being told that the family would be returned to Iraq, Yezda panicked and screamed and pleaded with the guards not to take them. She threatened to take her life and became extremely agitated. “I knew I could not go back to Iraq and I was ready to die in Poland. While I was crying like that, two guards restrained me and my husband, tied our hands behind our backs, and a doctor gave us an injection that made us very weak and sleepy. My head was not clear, but I could hear my children, who were in the room with us, crying and screaming.”

“We were asked to go through the airport security and the guards told us to behave on the plane. But I refused to go. I remember noticing that I didn’t even have any shoes on, as in the chaos at the camp, they slipped of my feet. My head was not clear, and I couldn’t see my husband or the children, but I remember that they forced me on the plane that was full of people. I was still crying and pleading with the police not to take us.” Yezda said that she broke her foot as she fought the guards who tried to put her on the plane. Yezda and her family were returned to Warsaw after the airline refused to take them to Iraq. They remain in a camp in Poland for now.

Volunteers and activists have been barred from accessing the border of Poland and Belarus, and some have even faced prosecution for trying to help people cross the border. In March, activists who had helped people both on Poland’s borders with Ukraine and with Belarus were detained for providing life-saving assistance to refugees and migrants on the Belarussian border, and now face potentially serious charges.

Stranded at the border

On 20 March, the Belarusian authorities reportedly evicted close to 700 refugees and migrants, including many families with young children and people suffering from severe illnesses and disabilities, from the warehouse in the Belarusian village of Bruzgi which had accommodated several thousand people in 2021.

People who were evicted from the warehouse suddenly found themselves stranded in the forest, trying to survive in sub-zero temperatures without shelter, food, water or access to medical care. Many remain in the forest and experience daily abuse from the Belarusian border guards, who use dogs and violence to force people to cross the border into Poland.

“Hundreds of people fleeing conflict in the Middle East and other parts of the world remain stranded on the border between Belarus and Poland. The Polish government must immediately stop pushbacks. They are illegal no matter how the government tries to justify them. The international community – including the EU – must demand that those trapped on Poland’s border with Belarus be afforded the same access to EU territory as any other group seeking refuge in Europe,” said Jelena Sesar.

END OF THE ARTICLE

REPORT AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL

POLAND: CRUELTY, NOT COMPASSION, AT EUROPE’S OTHER BORDERS

11 APRIL 2022

The rapid relief effort at the border, exceptional generosity of civil society and willingness of Polish authorities to receive people fleeing from Ukraine contrast starkly with the Polish government’s hostility toward refugees and migrants who have arrived in the country via Belarus since July 2021. Hundreds of people who crossed from Belarus have been arbitrarily detained in Poland in appalling conditions and without access to a fair asylum proceeding. Many have been forcibly returned to their countries of origin, some under sedation. In addition, hundreds of people remain stranded inside Belarus and face increasingly desperate conditions.

END OF THIS PIECE

FULL REPORT

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL

POLAND: CRUELTY, NOT COMPASSION, AT EUROPE’S OTHER BORDERS

11 APRIL 2022

https://www.amnesty.org/en/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/EUR3754602022ENGLISH.pdf

[8]

MEDICS LEAVE POLAND=BELARUS BORDER WITHOUT

REACHING MIGRANTS

https://www.dw.com/en/medics-leave-poland-belarus-border-without-reaching-migrants/a-60353514

Doctors Without Borders removed its team on the Belarus-Poland border after Warsaw blocked access to migrants trying to enter the European Union. Camped in harsh conditions, several people have died on the EU’s doorstep.

Despite knowing people along the Belarus-Poland border were “in desperate need of medical and humanitarian assistance,” the medical charity Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said it withdrew its emergency response team from the region.

“Since October, MSF has repeatedly requested access to the restricted area and the border guard posts in Poland, but without success,” Frauke Ossig, the charity’s emergency coordinator for Poland and Lithuania, said on Thursday.

“We know that there are still people crossing the border and hiding in the forest, in need of support, but while we are committed to assisting people on the move wherever they may be, we have not been able to reach them in Poland,” Ossig added.

MSF said it was concerned that restricting access to major aid organizations could result in more deaths and such policies were “another example of the EU deliberately creating unsafe conditions for people to seek asylum at its borders.”

While many of the migrants received shelter in a logistics center, a number of people are reported to have died in the freezing, harsh conditions along the border.

Why can’t aid groups reach migrants and asylum-seekers?

On December 1, Poland’s Interior Ministry extended a state of emergency that prohibits all non-residents, including journalists and non-governmental aid groups, from the border area.

“People are being attacked and beaten at the hands of border guards, and yet state officials continue to allow the practice of pushing people between borders knowing that such maltreatment continues,” MSF said.

With thousands of people on the Belarusian side of the 400-kilometer (250-mile) stretch, Poland built a barbed-wire fence that it intends to replace with a permanent barrier and sent thousands of soldiers to the border, leaving the migrants stuck in camps in no man’s land and unable to apply for asylum in the European Union.

Polish border guards accused of illegal ‘pushbacks’

Polish border guards have been accused of forcibly pushing migrants and asylum-seekers back into Belarus — a move that breaches international law. At least 21 people have lost their lives in the attempt in 2021, MSF reported.

In December, the Polish civil society group Salam Lab reported that five Syrian and one Palestinian who managed to find their way outside Poland’s exclusion zone said they had been pushed back to Belarus several times by Polish authorities.

EU nations Latvia and Lithuania, which also share borders with Belarus, have also reinforced their border security and declared a state of emergency. MSF said it had not received access to migrants at the Belarusian-Lithuanian border.

The European Union has accused Belarus’ authoritarian leader Alexander Lukashenko of encouraging people fleeing conflict and poverty in the Middle East to attempt to enter the EU through Belarus.

Belarus denies this and has urged the EU to take in the migrants.

“The current situation is unacceptable and inhumane,” Ossig said. “People have the right to seek safety and asylum and should not be illegitimately pushed back to Belarus.”

[9]

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL

POLAND/BELARUS: NEW EVIDENCE OF ABUSES HIGHLIGHTS 

”HYPOCRISY” OF UNEQUAL TREATMENT OF ASYLUM SEEKERS

11 APRIL 2022

SEE FOR FULL TEXT, NOTE 7

[10]

SEE NOTE 10

SEE ALSO THE LINK

Reacties uitgeschakeld voor The International Red Cross, the Ukrainian refugees and the refugees, trapped between Poland and Belarus/Do you treat them with equal attention, Red Cross?

Opgeslagen onder Divers

Swedish Iranian national sentenced to death/NO to death penalty!/Letter to the Iranian ambassador in Belgium

Image result for Gallows/Images
Image result for Guillotine/Images

Electric chair at the Florida State Prison

NO AGAINST DEATH PENALTY!

Image result for ouderwetse vulpen/Foto's
Image result for middeleeuws zwaard

MY PEN DEFENDS WHAT’S RIGHT

SWEDISH IRANIAN NATIONAL SENTENCED TO DEATH/NO TO DEATH PENALTY!/LETTER TO THE IRANIAN AMBASSADOR IN BELGIUM

IMMINENT EXECUTION AT 21 MAY 2022!PREVENT THISWRITE TO THE IRANIAN EMBASSY IN BELGIUM MAILADRESS:secretariat@iranembassy.be

SAVE A LIFE!THANKS IN ADVANCE’
SEE ALSO [IN DUTCH]
Volgens de bron van ISNA zou zijn executie plaatsvinden voor het einde van de Iraanse maand Ordibehesht, wat overeenkomt met 21 mei 2022”

https://www.amnesty-international.be/help-djalali

Article 3

Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.

UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS

http://hrlibrary.umn.edu/instree/b1udhr.htm

THIS IS THE ASTRID ESSED LETTER

TO THE AMBASSADOR OF THE ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF IRAN
Subject:The imminent execution of mr Ahmadreza Djalali
Your Excellency,
Hereby I want to draw your attention to the following:From reliable sources I’ve learnt about the imminent execution of the Swedish-Iranian academic, mr Ahmadreza Djalali [1] and I write to you with the urgent request to issue your influence to prevent thisexecution.Reason?Because I am of the opinion, that the death penalty is a cruel and inhumanepunishment, which is also irreversible.
BACKGROUND:
According to my information, mr Djalali was sentenced to death forthe charge of ”corruption on earth” (ifsad fil-arz) [2]and has given a 200 000 euro fine.According to my information, the court verdict states, thatmr Djalali worked with the Israeli government [3], which means espionage.
However, I learnt, that his trial was, according tothe information of Amnesty International, ”grosslyunfair” [4] and also that he supposedly wastortured. [5]Of course you understand, that any confession, thatis made under torture, is illegal.

DEATH PENALTY 
But even when his trial has been fair and he was not tortured, I reqquest to you to urge your influence toprevent the death penalty.Not only, in my opinion, the ending of a human lifeis always illegal and wrong, whether done by theState, or by an individual, because all human beingshave the right to life, problem with the death penaly is also, that this is irreversible.What if the person turns to be innocent?When someone is sentenced to imprisonment,he can be released, but death is death.I bring in your memory two famous British flawsof Justice:The Guildford Four and the Maguire Seven [6]If there had been a death penalty in the United Kingdom,they couldn’t have been released.
Your Excellency, this is very, very serious and grave, since it concerns a human lifeTherefore I took my time to write to you toprevent this execution, as I did so many times, whenit concerned executions in one of the headmen onthe area of executions, the USA, and also other countries.
So I speak out hope, that you will do everything inyour Power to stop this.Time is pressing, since the execution is imminent[21 may]
Human Life belongs to our Lord and Father God.Only He may end it.Not the State, not other human beings.
Thanks for reading my LetterI hope you will help
Kind regards
Astrid EssedAmsterdam The Netherlands
NOTES

[1]

AMNESTY INTERNATIONALIRAN: EXECUTION LOOMS FOR TORTURED ACADEMIC: AHMADREZA DJALALI5 MAY 2021
https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/mde13/5567/2022/en/

IRAN DEATH PENALTY

Tortured Swedish-Iranian academic Ahmadreza Djalali, arbitrarily detained in Tehran’s Evin prison, is at risk of imminent execution according to multiple Iranian state media reports that his death sentence for “corruption on earth” (efsad-e fel-arz) will be carried out by 21 May 2022 at the latest. He was sentenced to death in 2017 following a grossly unfair trial that relied on torture-tainted “confessions.” The authorities must halt any plans to execute him and release him immediately.

[2]

”Zeynab Taheri, one of Ahmadreza Djalali’s lawyers, told Amnesty International that he was sentenced to death for the charge of “corruption on earth” (ifsad fil-arz), and has been given a 200,000 euro fine.”
AMNESTY INTERNATIONALIRAN: PROMINENT ACADEMIC SENTENCEDTO DEATH AFTER GROSSLY UNFAIR TRIAL23 OCTOBER 2017
https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2017/10/iran-prominent-academic-sentenced-to-death-after-grossly-unfair-trial/

The Iranian authorities must urgently quash the death sentence against Iranian-born Swedish resident and specialist in emergency medicine Ahmadreza Djalali, said Amnesty International today.

The medical doctor and university lecturer had studied and taught in Sweden, Italy and Belgium. Since his arrest in April 2016, several European officials have called for his release.

Zeynab Taheri, one of Ahmadreza Djalali’s lawyers, told Amnesty International that he was sentenced to death for the charge of “corruption on earth” (ifsad fil-arz), and has been given a 200,000 euro fine. The court verdict, which was shown to one of the lawyers, states that Ahmadreza Djalali worked with the Israeli government, who subsequently helped him obtain his residency permit in Sweden.

“Ahmadreza Djalali was sentenced to death after a grossly unfair trial that once again exposes not only the Iranian authorities’ steadfast commitment to use of the death penalty but their utter contempt for the rule of law,” said Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s Research and Advocacy Director for the Middle East and North Africa.

“No evidence has ever been presented to show that he is anything other than an academic peacefully pursuing his profession. If he has been convicted and sentenced for peacefully exercising his rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly, including through his academic work, the authorities must immediately and unconditionally release him and drop all charges against him.”

Ahmadreza Djalali was arrested by Ministry of Intelligence officials in April 2016 and held without access to a lawyer for seven months, three of which were in solitary confinement. Even after that period, every lawyer he selected was rejected by the court.

In a voice recording that was published on YouTube on 22 October, Ahmadreza Djalali is heard saying that, while in solitary confinement, he was twice forced to make “confessions” in front of a video camera by reading out statements pre-written by his interrogators. He says that he was put under intense pressure through psychological torture and threats to execute him and arrest his children to “confess” to being a spy for a “hostile government”. In the recording, he says that his academic beliefs have been used to convict him and sentence him to death. He also denies the accusations against him and says they have been fabricated by Ministry of Intelligence interrogators.

“At a time when the Iranian authorities are actively strengthening ties with countries in the European Union, it is absurd that they are using Ahmadreza Djalali’s academic links to a European country as part of the ‘evidence’ against him,” said Philip Luther.

Ahmadreza Djalali’s wife Vida Mehrannia, who lives in Sweden with their two children, has told Amnesty International that his physical and mental health have sharply deteriorated since he was detained. She added: “We are calling for his release because he has not committed any crime.”

Amnesty International opposes the death penalty in all cases without exception regardless of the nature of the crime, the characteristics of the offender, or the method used by the state to kill the prisoner. The death penalty is a violation of the right to life and the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment.

[3]

”The court verdict, which was shown to one of the lawyers, states that Ahmadreza Djalali worked with the Israeli government, who subsequently helped him obtain his residency permit in Sweden.”

AMNESTY INTERNATIONALIRAN: PROMINENT ACADEMIC SENTENCEDTO DEATH AFTER GROSSLY UNFAIR TRIAL23 OCTOBER 2017
https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2017/10/iran-prominent-academic-sentenced-to-death-after-grossly-unfair-trial/

[4]

”“Ahmadreza Djalali was sentenced to death after a grossly unfair trial that once again exposes not only the Iranian authorities’ steadfast commitment to use of the death penalty but their utter contempt for the rule of law,” said Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s Research and Advocacy Director for the Middle East and North Africa.”
AMNESTY INTERNATIONALIRAN: PROMINENT ACADEMIC SENTENCEDTO DEATH AFTER GROSSLY UNFAIR TRIAL23 OCTOBER 2017
https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2017/10/iran-prominent-academic-sentenced-to-death-after-grossly-unfair-trial/

[5]

AMNESTY INTERNATIONALIRAN: EXECUTION LOOMS FOR TORTURED ACADEMIC: AHMADREZA DJALALI5 MAY 2021
https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/mde13/5567/2022/en/

IRAN DEATH PENALTY

Tortured Swedish-Iranian academic Ahmadreza Djalali, arbitrarily detained in Tehran’s Evin prison, is at risk of imminent execution according to multiple Iranian state media reports that his death sentence for “corruption on earth” (efsad-e fel-arz) will be carried out by 21 May 2022 at the latest. He was sentenced to death in 2017 following a grossly unfair trial that relied on torture-tainted “confessions.” The authorities must halt any plans to execute him and release him immediately.

[6]

WIKIPEDIA

GUILDFOUR FOUR AND MAGUIRE SEVEN

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guildford_Four_and_Maguire_Seven

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Eid Mubarak 2022!


EID MUBARAK 2022!

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