Tag archieven: pushbacks

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

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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

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

Opgeslagen onder Divers

Publicatie op Uitpers/De minder fraaie kant van de ”Solidariteit met Oekraine”

Oekraïense vluchtelingenkinderen in Polen wachten op de bus voor de terugkeer naar Oekraïene. (foto: Pakkin Leung, CC A 40 International)

UITPERS.BE

DE MINDER FRAAIE KANT VAN DE ”SOLIDARITEIT MET OEKRAINE”

ASTRID ESSED

25 JULI 2022

OEKRAIENSE VLUCHTELINGEN, EUROPA EN CHRISTENHONDEN, SOLIDARITEIT OF TROUBLE IN PARADISE?

Dit artikel is opgedragen aan vier activisten van de Poolse actieorganisatie Grupa Granica, die een gevangenisstraf van 8 jaar boven het hoofd hangt wegens het vertonen van menselijkheid aan een familie die is gestrand tussen Polen en Belarus, aan vluchtelingen als de Oekraïners die worden genegeerd, gepushbackt en mishandeld. En niet te vergeten aan de Poolse militair Emil Czeczko, die een mogelijke massamoord op vluchtelingen en ook op vluchtelingenwerkers door Poolse grenswachten onthulde … en daarvoor misschien wel met zijn leven heeft betaald.

https://eng.belta.by/society/view/emil-czeczko-up-to-700-people-might-have-been-killed-during-my-10-day-stay-at-border-147674-2022/
https://www.thefirstnews.com/article/polish-soldier-who-defected-to-belarus-found-dead-from-hanging-in-minsk-apartment-28871
https://www.trtworld.com/magazine/a-tale-of-two-borders-poland-s-hunt-for-unwanted-refugees-is-still-on-56184
https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2022/mar/25/poland-detains-activists-accused-of-smuggling-migrants-over-belarus-border

[Dit is geen volledig verslag der Oekraïense Tragedie, want dat zou ondoenlijk zijn. Het gaat hier slechts om enkele Zaken, die ik zeer opmerkelijk vind. En soms pijnlijk ]

HOOFDSTUK EEN

De oplettende lezer zal gemerkt hebben, dat zijn/haar ‘Wreker van het Onrecht’ opmerkelijk weinig geschreven heeft over Europa’s HOT ITEM: De Oekraïense Tragedie, het Wel en Wee van de Oekraïners sinds Rusland’s agressieoorlog aldaar [1] en alles wat daarmee samenhangt.

Okay, aanvankelijk waren daarover wel wat Astrid Essed publicaties [2], waarin op een aantal zaken de Puntjes op de I werd gezet [3] maar daarna viel het wat stil rond dit Thema.

Niet alleen omdat er wel wat meer in de wereld gebeurt dan Oekraïne, ook al heeft de oorlog van Poetin in Oekraïne grote invloed op delen van [Noord] Afrika vanwege Oekraïne’s rol als belangrijke graanleverancier [4], maar ook, omdat ik de ontwikkelingen wilde afwachten. Er gebeurde en gebeurt dagelijks zoveel op dit gebied! In dit artikel wil ik  focussen op een minder belichte kant van de Oekraïense Tragedie, die uitmondde in een grote Vlucht naar het Westen van Europa, tevens een minder fraaie kant in het kader van die ”Solidariteit met Oekraïne”. Want hoe zit dat daar eigenlijk feitelijk mee. Is het wel zo, of zitten er een aantal nare Addertjes onder het Gras. Daarover gaat dit Longread artikel [maak je borst dus maar nat]. Maar eerst een overzicht en een  belichting van Andere Zaken.

Poetins oorlog

We weten het inmiddels. Op 24 februari 2022 viel het Russische leger, in opdracht van Rusland’s president Poetin, Oekraine binnen. [5] Ik citeer uit de Verklaring van Vladimir Poetin, President Aller Russen: ”I am referring to the eastward expansion of NATO, which is moving its military infrastructure ever closer to the Russian border” EN ”The people’s republics of Donbass have asked Russia for help. In this context I made a decision to carry out a special military operation.” [6]

Lees het gehele Statement, dat bol staat van retoriek, waarop ik verder niet inga, onder noot 7.

Nu moet ik zeggen, wat betreft het opdringen van de NAVO richting Russische grens heeft Poetin, geopolitiek bekeken, natuurlijk wel een punt. [8] Nog los van de wens bij Staten en ook volkeren tot aansluiting bij de EU [9], is dit natuurlijk ook Westerse/NAVO machtspolitiek geweest om te profiteren van de verzwakking van Rusland na het uiteenvallen van de

Sovjet-Unie. Daarin heeft Poetin gelijk, maar dat rechtvaardigt uiteraard NIET het binnenvallen van Oekraine, een Soevereine Staat.

GOED!
Of liever gezegd

SLECHT!

Wat er daarna gebeurde was te voorspellen: [Even in het kort] De EU stelde sancties in tegen Rusland [een proces dat nog doorgaat op het moment van schrijven van dit artikel] [10], er kwamen Europese en Amerikaanse wapenzendingen voor het zich [dat moet gezegd] dapper

verzettende Oekraiense leger, al zitten daarin, dat moet gezegd, nogal wat extreem-rechtse elementen. [11] Maar hoe verontrustend ook, dat maakt de strijd tegen het Russische imperialisme [niet minder gevaarlijk dan het Westerse imperialisme] er op zich niet minder heroïsch om.

Verder nu bijna klassiek de toespraken van de zo langzamerhand tot popster verheven Oekraïense president Zelensky [12] [die van geen wijken wil weten, dat moet gezegd]. Overigens, en dat moet hier nadrukkelijk gezegd, begonnen die wapenleveranties al VOOR de Russische aanval

op Oekraïne [13], wat een zeker Licht werpt op de Westerse Mogendheden.

De hele wereld tegen Rusland? Nonsens!

Naast die wapenleveranties aan dapper Oekraïne, dan ook nog twee VN Resoluties, een van de Algemene Vergadering en een VN-Veiligheidsraadsresolutie, ter veroordeling van de Russische invasie in Oekraïne. Die VN-Veiligheidsraadsresolutie werd, uiteraard, getroffen door een Veto van Rusland [14], de Algemene Vergaderingsresolutie werd wel aangenomen [15], al was het wereldwijd geen onverdeeld succes: want naast de vier [dictatoriale] landen, die Rusland bleven

steunen [Belarus oftewel Wit-Rusland, Syrië, Noord-Korea en Eritrea], waren er maar liefst 35 onthoudingen! [16] En dat waren niet de minste landen. Er waren belangrijke landen en grootmachten bij, zoals Ruslands Bondgenoot en Frenemy [in de zin van concurrent] [17] Wereldmacht China, Opkomende Economie India, Oude Bondgenoot [dus niet verwonderlijk] Cuba, maar ook Afrikaanse landen als Tanzania, Zimbabwe en Congo[18]. Wel opvallend is dat Myanmar, ook een min of meer Bondgenoot of Medestander van Poetin [19] een onverwachte move maakte en stemde voor de Rusland veroordelingsresolutie [20]

Natuurlijk, de diverse onthoudingslanden hebben alle zo hun eigen redenen, maar het EU/VS narratief, dat ”de hele wereld tegen Rusland is”, is dus een Sprookje [21]

HOOFDSTUK TWEE

DE VLUCHTELINGEN

WAT GEBEURT ER MET DE VLUCHTELINGEN?

A BLOND HAAR EN BLAUWE OGEN

Nu over de vluchtelingen, iets dat mij na aan het hart ligt. Besproken is de nare kant van de Politiek, de Invasie, het oplopende aantal oorlogsslachtoffers, de oorlogsmisdaden aan Russische, maar ook [mogelijke] aan Oekraïense kant [22], welk laatste maar weer bevestigt het Oud Afrikaanse Spreekwoord ”Als Olifanten vechten, wordt het Gras vertrapt”. [23]

Met andere woorden: De gewone mensen zijn door die oorlog en machtsspelletjes Kop van Jut, Kind van de Rekening.

Nu dus die Vluchtelingen:

Tragisch en actueel wat betreft de Oekraïners. Van hen zijn meer dan 6 miljoen mensen gevlucht

sinds de Russische invasie in de Oekraine [volgens informatie Europa Nu dd 12 mei 2022]. [24]

Meer dan twee miljoen Oekraiense vluchtelingen zijn in Polen, in Nederland waren er, geteld op 24 mei anno Domini 2022 [volgens het Dagblad van het Noorden], 64.000. [25] Dat is best een groot aantal, 6 miljoen vluchtelingen op een bevolking van ruim 44 miljoen mensen. [26]

Opvallend was het warme onthaal, dat ze door heel Europa kregen. [27] De Landelijke Actie Oekraïne leverde maar liefst 106 miljoen euro op [28] en Gastgezinnen stonden wijd en zijd klaar, ruim 25 000! [29] Dat is fijn. Ik gun iedere vluchteling een warm welkom: maar zoals bij elk Sprookje, had het Geheel ook een Schaduwzijde, namelijk een van de REDENEN, van

die plotselinge gastvrijheid jegens vluchtelingen, die weleens anders is geweest. [30]

Namelijk: Mensen, die op ons lijken, met [ook] Blond Haar en Blauwe Ogen. Zoals een journalist het verwoordde: ”“It’s very emotional for me because I see European people with blue eyes and blonde hair being killed.” [31]

Dat deugt niet.

En zeker niet als het van een journalist komt, een gildelid van de Pers, die zo’n grote invloed heeft op de Publieke Opinie [lees wat Malcolm X opmerkte over de pers….]. [32]

Maar…..er is ook een andere kant, want ik wil fair zijn tot op het bot.

Deze journalist is natuurlijk een kwaadwillige, want waarom speciaal die opwinding over ”Europeanen met blond haar en blauwe ogen” [33]

Aan de andere kant is het universeel [en dat hoeft helemaal geen racisme te zijn], dat mensen zich eerder identificeren met mensen, die op hen lijken. Dat is niet alleen in Europa zo, dat is ook zo in de rest van de wereld: Afrikaanse landen zetten graag hun grenzen open voor Afrikaanse vluchtelingen en leven erg mee [34], hoewel ze gastvrijer tegen buitenstaanders zijn dan Europa [35], en zo gaat het, wat herkenbaarheid en identificatie betreft, ook in andere delen in de wereld.

Op zich geen probleem, zolang die ”identificatie” maar niet ontaardt in de uitsluiting van andere mensen. DAN wordt het racisme en xenofobie, die – en dat is ook helaas een waarheid – lang niet alleen in Europa voorkomt, zowel wat regeringsbeleid betreft als de houding van de bevolking.

Niet alleen in Europa dus”. Want hoewel ik sprak over de vaak grotere verdraagzaamheid van Afrikaanse landen [36], is er ook een schaduwzijde.

Zo waren er enkele jaren geleden [ik noem 2008 en 2017] in Zuid-Afrika zware

xenofobische rellen tegen Afrikanen uit andere landen [37] en laten we ook de etnische zuiveringen van de Oegandese dictator Idi Amin jegens de toenmalige Indiase gemeenschap

in Oeganda niet vergeten. [38] Ik noem dit bewust om te benadrukken, dat xenofobie

een wereldwijd probleem is en niet alleen in het Westen voorkomt.

B ”ETNISCHE OEKRAIENERS” EN DE ANDEREN

Om terug te keren tot die vluchtelingen. Xenofobisch onderscheid werd gemaakt door burgers,

regeringen, de EU. Waar ”etnische” Oekraïners van overal van harte welkom werden geheten [39], was dat met anderen, die ook in Oekraïne woonden, Afrikanen, Aziaten, meest studenten, maar ook ”gewone” migranten, veel minder vanzelfsprekend. Het begon vaak al in ‘vlucht’-treinen richting Polen, waar zij discriminatie en vaak geweld ondervonden en bij de grens, waar er Poolse grenswachten waren, die hen weigerden door te laten. [40] Ook werd er gerapporteerd over Poolse hulpverleners, die weigerden Afrikaanse vluchtelingen uit Oekraïne te helpen. [41]

Gelukkig waren er ook positieve Verhalen over Oekraïners, die Afrikaanse vluchtelingen te hulp schoten bij geweld. [42] Nu waren al decennialang Poolse [en andere Oost-Europese

burgers] burgers opgestookt door media en politiek met de gebruikelijke negatieve anti-migratieretoriek [43], beïnvloed door het vaak herhaalde narratief, dat er miljoenen Afrikanen richting Europa komen.[44] Wat in de praktijk bepaald niet klopt. [45]

Ook daarom is het wel interessant om te benoemen, hoeveel Afrikaanse en andere migranten/studenten/vluchtelingen van kleur in Oekraïne woonachtig zijn [waren, door de oorlog

is zoals bekend een aantal gevlucht, ook al kon lang niet iedereen weg, zoals bekend [46]

Volgens gegevens van de Oekraïense regering  waren er in 2019 80.470 buitenlandse studenten in

Oekraïne [noot One World] waarvan 20 procent uit Afrika, voornamelijk uit Nigeria, Ghana, Marokko en Egypte. [47] En dat zijn er dus bepaald geen ”miljoenen”.

Overigens heeft de Oekraïense regering het racistische geweld tegen Afrikanen en andere studenten/migranten van kleur officieel veroordeeld: ‘’Afrikanen die op zoek zijn naar evacuatie zijn onze vrienden en moeten gelijke kansen krijgen om veilig terug te keren naar hun thuisland”, aldus de Oekraïense minister van Buitenlandse Zaken Dmytro Koeleba. [48]

Maar er was natuurlijk niet alleen racisme en xenofobie aan de Pools-Oekraïense grens of in Polen zelf: Ook in Nederland bleek dat bij de opvang van Oekraïense vluchtelingen: Zo wilde de eigenaar van een Opvangboot voor Oekraïners ”alleen kinderen, vrouwen en etnische Oekraïners. [49] En uiteraard heeft de Gemeente Amsterdam daarop de samenwerking met hem opgezegd. [50]

Ondergetekende heeft de betrokken Boosdoener nog een  Brief op Poten geschreven [51]

C NIET TE VERGETEN: VLUCHTELINGEN, DIE VASTZITTEN TUSSEN POLEN EN BELARUS [WIT-RUSLAND]

“Ik ken een echtpaar dat in de zone woont”, zegt Karolina. “De man is een verklikker. Hij gaat dagelijks het bos in en belt de politie als hij iemand vindt. Intussen belde zijn vrouw mij, omdat ze heimelijk een berg sokken had gebreid voor de vluchtelingen.” [52]

De groep vluchtelingen, die bij alle commotie rond de xenofobie tegenover Afrikaanse en Aziatische studenten en/of migranten, die Oekraïne proberen te verlaten, een beetje wordt ondergesneeuwd, zijn de vooral uit het Midden-Oosten afkomstige vluchtelingen, die al sinds vorig jaar 2021 [pak em beet, september, oktober] vastzitten in een niemandsland tussen Polen en Belarus [Wit-Rusland], naar Belarus ”gelokt” door dictator Loekasjenko met een valse

voorspiegeling van zaken, dat ze zo snel via Polen de EU binnen zouden kunnen komen. [53]

Dat gebeurde niet, want ze werden bij de grens tegengehouden door Poolse grenswachten, waarna een naar machtsspelletje ontstond tussen Polen/EU enerzijds en Belarus anderszijds. [54]

Ondertussen werd het winter, hulp voor de vluchtelingen kwam er niet of te weinig, hoewel het Rode Kruis, maar ook Poolse vrijwilligers hun best deden [55], vluchtelingen overleden door kou, werden mishandeld, soms neergeschoten [56], een schande voor de ”Europese Waarden”. [57]

Het opvallendste was wel de giftige EU-retoriek, die, in plaats van Polen te wijzen op het Vluchtelingenverdrag [58] en recht op asiel, Polen stijfde in deze tegen het Internationaal Recht ingaande houding, waarbij ook nog sprake was van de illegale ”pushbacks” [59], door het recht van Polen, haar grenzen te verdedigen, bekrachtigde, alsof het hier een Buitenlandse Vijand betrof! [60]

Wat stond en staat dat in schril contrast met de Ontvangst, die nu de Oekraïense vluchtelingen krijgen [61], die worden ontvangen op een manier zoals het met iedere vluchteling zou moeten gaan! Tegen de komst van de vluchtelingen, die daar in Niemandsland vastzaten [en waarschijnlijk nog zitten], wordt er een Muur gebouwd [62], Oekraïners krijgen nog net

geen Rode Loper uitgespreid. Daarom heb ik mij hard gemaakt voor deze groep geneneerden, middels brieven en artikelen. [63] Iemand moet het doen

Maar daarnaast: Lof voor de Poolse vrijwilligers, individuele Poolse burgers, initiatieven, die deze mensen hielpen. [64] EN….speciaal Hulde aan vier activisten van de actiegroep

Grupa Grania, die [ik lees een artikel van april 2022] eind maart 2022 zijn gearresteerd wegens mensenhandel, terwijl hun enige ”misdaad” was het verlenen van humanitaire hulp aan een Familie, die gestrand was tussen Polen en Belarus! [65] Hen hangt 8 jaar gevangenisstraf boven het hoofd. [66] Ik weet niet, hoe het met hen is afgelopen, maar vergeten doe ik hen niet!

Al Deze mensen maken de wereld wat lichter!

HOOFDSTUK DRIE

NEDERLAND EN DE SOLIDARITEIT MET DE OEKRAÏENSE VLUCHTELINGEN

SOLIDARITEIT JEGENS DE ENE EN DISCRIMINATIE JEGENS DE ANDERE?

DE ENE VLUCHTELING IS DE ANDERE NIET…..

Uitgebreid heb ik de revu laten passeren [zie bovenstaande] over de ongelijke behandeling/ontvangst tussen voor de Poetin-agressie vluchtende Oekraïense vluchtelingen enerzijds en Afrikaanse/Aziatische al dan niet studenten, die in Oekraïne woonachtig waren [zijn, als ze bij de grens met succes werden tegengehouden] anderszijds Ook -wat mij na aan het hart ligt, omdat er steeds minder aandacht voor is- over de ongelijke behandeling tussen Oekraïense vluchtelingen en de vluchtelingen [merendeels uit het Midden-Oosten afkomstig], die nog steeds vastzitten tussen Belarus [Wit-Rusland] en Polen en slachtoffer werden van een cynisch machtsspel.

Maar er is meer dan het racisme van Poolse autoriteiten/grenswachten/burgers etc. Er is ook nog zoiets als het minder openlijke, maar wel degelijk discriminatoir EU-Beleid. En dat, beste lezers, is gevaarlijker dan het racistisch gestunt aan de grens van een aantal [niet allemaal, laat

dat ook gezegd zijn] [67] Poolse grenswachten, omdat een door de EU uitgestippeld beleid, dat zogenaamd voor ”Westerse Waarden” [68] staat, een directe invloed heeft op de publieke opinie, omdat zo discriminatie, het maken van onderscheid tussen groepen vluchtelingen, wordt

genormaliseerd.

En waarde lezers, het EU beleid IS discriminatoir: Waarom? Begin maart besloot de EU [Europese Unie dus] om mensen, die Oekraïne ontvluchten, tijdelijke bescherming te verlenen

op basis van de Richtlijn Tijdelijke Bescherming. [69] Deze Richtlijn Tijdelijke Bescherming is bedoeld voor [ik citeer Verblijfblog] ”een situatie van massale toestroom van ontheemden uit derde landen, die niet naar hun land van oorsprong kunnen terugkeren”. [70]

Nogal wiedes, zal de oplettende lezer opmerken, ze zijn net gevlucht, natuurlijk kunnen ze niet terug.

Hoe dan ook, die Richtlijn Tijdelijke Bescherming, in het leven geroepen na de burgeroorlogen in het voormalige Joegoslavie [in 2001 tot stand gekomen] [71]  houdt onder andere in, dat vluchtelingen een tijdelijke verblijfsvergunning krijgen [ze hoeven dus geen asiel aan te vragen], dat ze mogen werken, onderwijs genieten, recht hebben op sociale voorzieningen en op gezinshereniging. [72]

Dat klinkt allemaal mooi en waar en blij, dat dit is toegepast op de Oekraïners, maar waarom dan niet op de massale stroom van Syrische vluchtelingen uit 2015-16, die toch ook onder deze categorie vielen? Dat vind ik discriminatoir en het niet toepassen van die Tijdelijke Richtlijn op de Syrische ontheemden viel auteurs van Verblijfblog ook op. [73]

Ook is het opvallend, met hoeveel gemak de Overheid de opvang van duizenden Oekraïners in korte tijd kon regelen en zelfs de Koning bood een logeer/woonplaats aan. [74] En dat vind ik mooi voor die Oekraïners uiteraard, maar dat de bereidheid van Gemeenten om vluchtelingen [vaak statushouders, nog steeds wachtend op een huis, maar ook ”gewone” asielzoekers] uit Ter Apel een opvang te verlenen, zo mager was [is] [75], dat er nu een ”dwangwet” in voorbereiding is om Gemeenten te verplichten, vluchtelingen op te nemen als het in Ter Apel uit de klauwen loopt. [76]

Ook heeft Vluchtelingenwerk gedreigd, naar de rechter te stappen, als de Overheid niet voor 1 augustus de vluchtelingen-Ter Apelcrisis heeft opgelost. [77] Wordt er dus met twee maten gemeten, ja of nee?

NEDERLAND EN DE SOLIDARITEIT MET DE OEKRAIENERS

BARSTJES IN DIE SOLIDARITEIT

TROUBLE IN PARADISE?

Opvang in gezinnen

Onderwijs

Nou is meeleven met vluchtelingen, die moeten vluchten voor oorlog, Een Ding. Als die ”dichterbij” komen en ”gewone” mensen worden, weer een ander Ding. Activiste en schrijfster Joke Kaviaar merkte daarover op [naar aanleiding van de massale komst van Syrische vluchtelingen naar Europa/Nederland]. Zijn naam was Aylan Kurdi [78, noot Astrid Essed]

Heeft zijn dood iets veranderd? En zo ja, ten goede of ten kwade? Wat gebeurt er, als alle emotie weg is, als al die vluchtelingen in een opvangcentrum bij mensen in de buurt komen en gewone mensen blijken te zijn, sommige aardig, andere niet? Hoe snel is het medelijden dan vertrokken en heeft weer plaatsgemaakt voor wantrouwen?

[Einde citaat Joke Kaviaar] [79]

Nu viel-in dit geval- dat wantrouwen nog wel mee, voor zover ik dat kon constateren. Maar wat WEL een soms pijnlijke confrontatie was, dat na de aanvankelijke hype van de duizenden, die zich opgaven voor de opvang van Oekraïense vluchtelingen [80] al gauw de domper kwam, omdat dit in een niet onaanzienlijk aantal gevallen bar bleek tegen te vallen. [81] Nou nog los van het feit, of ze al dan niet ”aardig” waren, die Oekraïense vluchtelingen, werd het al gauw duidelijk, dat velen zich in de emotie van het moment hadden opgegeven.

Mooi misschien, maar niet verstandig, want bij de opvang van zeker oorlogsvluchtelingen komt heel wat kijken. Vaak zijn de mensen, logischerwijs, getraumatiseerd, hier vormde natuurlijk ook de taal een barrière en het is verstandig je te realiseren, wat de opvang van vluchtelingen werkelijk betekent. [82]

Dat is dus de eerste Trouble in Paradise. Een tweede is nog griezeliger, de zorgen over seksuele uitbuiting van de toch al zo kwetsbare Oekraïense vluchtelingen. [83] Ronduit kwaadaardig, evenals de economische uitbuiting [door werkgevers] [84], waarop ik nog terug kom. Maar weer herhaal ik ten overvloede: Wat een verschil in opvangbereidheid van individuen en positieve berichtgeving over Oekraïense vluchtelingen, in tegenstelling tot andere groepen. [85]

Dan zijn er natuurlijk de hobbels/aanpassingsproblemen van Oekraiense leerlingen in het Nederlandse Onderwijs. Want hoewel scholen de leerlingen en masse met open armen lijken te ontvangen [86], haalt dat niet de angel uit de problemen. De kinderen komen uit een oorlogsgebied, hebben daar familie moeten achterlaten, vaak vaders, die in het leger tegen de Russische bezetter moeten vechten [87], hebben de nodige ellende gezien/meegemaakt, wat traumatisch kan zijn[worden].

Dan is er de taalbarrière, een andere cultuur, noem maar op. Problemen, die ook wel gezien worden door medewerkers van LOWAN, een organisatie, die scholen ondersteunt bij het geven aan onderwijs aan nieuwkomers, onder wie vluchtelingen. [88]

NEDERLAND EN DE SOLIDARITEIT MET DE OEKRAIENERS

OEKARIENSE LEERLINGEN CONTACT MET MEDELEERLINGEN

WEER STEEKT RACISME ZIJN LELIJKE KOP OP

Over racisme aan de Grens met Polen/Oekraïne tegen Afrikaanse studenten en studenten van kleur [uit India etc], wat zich ook uitstrekte tot onaangename ervaringen in bijvoorbeeld Polen, heb ik genoeg geschreven. Lees Hoofdstuk twee nog maar eens terug.

Maar dan nu wederwaardigheden in Nederland en met dank aan Caroline van der Plas, Tweede Kamerlid en voorvrouw van BBB [BoerBurgerBeweging], die dit in de Tweede Kamer aan de orde stelde. Ik citeer haar: ”Zo vertelde een docent van de Middelbare School mij [opmerking Astrid Essed: ”mij” is Caroline van der Plas] vorige week, dat er problemen worden ondervonden bij het onderwijzen van Oekraïense kinderen. Kinderen, die moeilijk kunnen meekomen en zelfs een aantal incidenten, van racisme. Meisjes met hoofddoekjes, die worden uitgescholden en het gooien met bananen naar leerlingen met een donkere huidskleur. ” [89]

Nu weet ik ook wel: Dat geldt niet voor alle Oekraiense kinderen, zoals Caroline van der Plas ook terecht opmerkte [90] en zoals de Marokkaans-Nederlandse rapper reeds opmerkte: ”Met elke Boot komen er wel een paar ratten mee”. [91]

Maar dit is meer: Want in Oost-Europa is extreem-rechts een ernstig Probleem [92] en het is ronduit gevaarlijk, als dit hierheen wordt geïmporteerd en wordt toegevoegd aan de in Nederland helaas hand over hand toenemende invloed van extreem-rechts. [93]

NEDERLAND EN DE SOLIDARITEIT MET DE OEKRAIENERS

TROUBLE IN PARADISE? UITBUITING CHRISTENHONDEN HYPOCRISIE

En nu kom ik dan [eindelijk] toe aan de titel van dit artikel EN de reden, waarom ik die titel gekozen heb Want hoe zit het, bij alle echte/vermeende ”massale solidariteit met de Oekraïense vluchtelingen” [zie vooral de vluchtelingenhype in Hoofdstuk Twee] nu met de werkelijke, economische drijfveren? [diegenen met oprechte bedoelingen, van wie de meesten, niet te na gesproken uiteraard]. Reeds noemde ik de seksuele uitbuiting van toch al kwetsbare Oekraïense vluchtelingen. [94] Bah en ronduit misdadig.

Maar….er zitten nog meer Adders onder het Gras! Want al dat gejuich rond ”mensen, die op ons lijken” al dan niet vergezeld van de ”blond haar en blauwe ogen” kwalificaties [zie wederom Hoofdstuk Twee], al dan niet aangevuld met ”mensen, die ook van christelijken Huize zijn” [Let daarop, dames en heren], had ook – en dat had ik kunnen weten –  naast de ideologische retoriek, een hardere, economische kant.

Dat werd al duidelijk door het gretige welkom, waarmee Westlandse tuinders Oekraïense vluchtelingen, die immers door de Tijdelijke Richtlijn Bescherming mogen werken [95], werden ontvangen, hetzij uitgenodigd, om in de kassen te komen werken. [96] EN… al gauw verschenen er lovende berichten, een uit het fundamentalistisch christelijke Dagblad, het Reformatorisch Dagblad [97], maar ook uit andere nieuwsmedia, over dankbare Oekraïners, die zo blij en dankbaar waren, dat ze mochten werken. [98] Nu begrijp ik dat ook wel van de kant van de Oekraïners: het leidt je af van de oorlog, de Ellende in je eigen land, de onzekerheid over het lot van je man, je ouders, andere familieleden.

Opvallend is echter WEL, dat veel Oekraïeners werkzaam zijn in horeca en land en tuinbouw. [99] En vooral in die laatste sector[met name in het Westland] is er nogal eens sprake van uitbuiting van arbeidsmigranten, vaak afkomstig uit Polen en anderen uit Midden en Oost-Europa. [100] AND GUESS WHAT? Ook bij een aantal Oekraïners ging het mis! Want de ”massale solidariteit” met ”mede-Europeanen” de Oekraïners weerhield niet, dat ook zij Kop van Jut werden.

WURG EN CHANTAGECONTRACTEN:

Aan het Licht kwam, dat Oekraïense [maar ook Poolse] werknemers werden onderworpen aan een uiterst vuile praktijk: de zogenaamde ”Wurgcontracten”. [101] Oekraïense vluchtelingen, maar ook Polen die in de Westlandse kassen aan de slag willen, komen daar veelal terecht via bemiddelaars, zoals het Poolse uitzendbureau Janpol. Een van de opvallendste clausules in het in kreupel Nederlands opgestelde contract is dat overtreding van de regels “kan leiden tot deportatie naar Oekraïne en een verbod op toegang tot EU-landen”. Met andere woorden: Oekraïners die fouten maken, worden teruggestuurd naar de oorlog. [102]

Kan het walgelijker? Vakbond CNV, die de noodklok luidde, is in het bezit van een geanonimiseerd contract, waar wordt vermeld een brutoloon van 10,48 euro per uur, het minimumloon. Aan het begin van elke maand moeten er 50 euro ‘administratiekosten’ worden afgedragen. De werknemer moet voor eigen verblijf en vervoer betalen, evenals voor werkkleding en schoenen (“als het moet”). [103]

En waar vinden dergelijke Vuile Praktijken dus plaats? Juist! In het Westland, met zijn o zo christelijke achtergrond…[104]

EPILOOG

CHRISTENHONDEN

Ik heb u meegenomen op een Reis door de Oekraïense Tragedie. De Russische aanval op de soevereiniteit van de Oekraïne, de onverzettelijkheid van het Oekraiense verzet [105] Russische [en ook Oekraïense] oorlogsmisdaden [106], het belang van Oekraïne als graanschuur, waardoor nog veel meer mensen werden getroffen en nog worden, door die oorlog. [107]

En natuurlijk: de Oekraïense vluchtelingenstroom en de massale solidariteit van West en Oost-Europa [108] waarbij ook helaas de schrijnende discriminatie tegen in Oekraïne [tot dusver] wonende Afrikaanse en Aziatische vluchtelingen [109] en dan niet te vergeten de EU-discriminatie, die opviel: Richtlijn Tijdelijke Bescherming voor Oekraïense vluchtelingen, maar destijds niet voor Syriers. [110]

De EU, die de Oekraiense vluchtelingen verdedigt [en terecht], maar de uit het Midden-Oosten afkomstige vluchtelingen, die vastzitten tussen Polen en Belarus, laat stikken. [111]

GOED

Maar niet voor niets heb ik in mijn titel de term ”Christenhonden” genoemd! Waarom? [Wie goed heeft opgelet, heeft dat al begrepen] Omdat met de mond solidariteit, vaak vanuit ”christelijke” hoek” werd beleden met Oekraïense vluchtelingen, maar kijk eens wat er in de praktijk in het zogenaamde ‘christelijke” Westland gebeurde? Uitbuiting van Oekraïense werknemers, die hun rechten niet kenden. Zie direct daarboven

Ik vraag mij af, of al die zondagse Kerkgangers onder hen, die zich schuldig maken aan die uitbuiting, zich [meestal zijn die lui erg Bijbelvast] deze Passage uit het Nieuwe Testament nog herinneren. Het staat in Mattheus 25: 35-45 en ik citeer de twee laatste gedeelten, 44 en 45.

Die laatste zinnen dus: ”Dan zullen ook dezen Hem antwoorden, zeggende: Heere wanneer hebben wij u hongerig gezien, of dorstig, of een vreemdeling, of naakt, of krank, of in de gevangenis, en hebben wij u niet gediend? ”Dan zal hij hun antwoorden en zeggen: Voorwaar Ik zeg u: Voor zoveel u dit aan deze minsten niet gedaan hebt, zo hebt gij het Mij ook niet gedaan.” [112]]

Hiermee sluit ik af. Van alle nare en pijnlijke aspecten uit deze Tragedie, is dit misschien nog het Pijnlijkste.

ASTRID ESSED

NOTEN

NOTEN 1 T/M 112:

EINDE ARTIKEL

Reacties uitgeschakeld voor Publicatie op Uitpers/De minder fraaie kant van de ”Solidariteit met Oekraine”

Opgeslagen onder Divers

Oekraiense vluchtelingen, Europa en Christenhonden/Solidariteit of Trouble in Paradise?

De Russische president Poetin en zijn Oekraïense collega Zelensky ontmoeten elkaar vandaag voor het eerst. Tijdens een top in Parijs staat beëindiging van de oorlog in Oost-Oekraïne op de agenda.

DE RUSSISCHE PRESIDENT POETIN EN DE OEKRAINSEPRESIDENT ZELENSKY

Vadim Ghirda/Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Ukrainian refugees crossing the Irpin river on an improvised path under a bridge, that was destroyed.Vadim Ghirda/Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

OEKRAINSE VLUCHTELINGEN

https://www.euronews.com/2022/04/01/the-treatment-africans-are-facing-in-ukraine-is-despicable-but-why-are-we-surprised

GENYA SAVILOV/AFPUkrainians and foreign residents shout slogans during an anti-racism rally in front of the Ukrainian Parliament in Kiev.GENYA SAVILOV/AFP

PROTEST TEGEN RACISME TEGEN AFRIKAANSE VLUCHTELINGEN

UIT DE OEKRAINE AAN DE GRENS MET POLEN

Foreigners wait to go to Poland at the Shegyni Ukrainian border post on March 01, 2022
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-60603226
https://www.euronews.com/2022/04/01/the-treatment-africans-are-facing-in-ukraine-is-despicable-but-why-are-we-surprised

Een Koerdische familie uit Irak wacht met zestien leden uit drie generaties op de grenswachten. Al acht keer werden ze teruggestuurd naar Wit-Rusland, waarbij ze klappen kregen en door honden gebeten werden. Foto Wojtek Radwanski / AFP

VAAK VERGETEN IN DE OEKRAINE CRISIS

VLUCHTELINGEN UIT HET MIDDEN-OOSTEN TUSSEN POLEN EN BELARUS TUSSEN WAL EN SCHIP

ZIJ KRIJGEN GEEN WARM WELKOM, ZOALS OEKRAINSE VLUCHTELINGEN

OEKRAIENSE VLUCHTELINGEN, EUROPA EN CHRISTENHONDEN/, SOLIDARITEIT OF TROUBLE IN PARADISE?

DIT ARTIKEL IS OPGEDRAGEN AAN VIER ACTIVISTEN VAN DE POOLSE ACTIEORGANISATIE GRUPA GRANICA, DIE EEN GEVANGENISSTRAF

VAN 8 JAAR BOVEN HET HOOFD HANGT VANWEGE HET VERLENEN

VAN MENSELIJKHEID AAN EEN FAMILIE, DIE IS GESTRAND TUSSEN

POLEN EN BELARUS

VLUCHTELINGEN ALS DE OEKRAIENERS, MAAR GENEGEERD, GEPUSHBACKT EN MISHANDELD

EN NIET TE VERGETEN AAN DE POOLSE MILITAIR EMIL CZECZKO,

DIE EEN MOGELIJKE MASSAMOORD OP VLUCHTELINGEN EN OOK

VLUCHTELINGENWERKERS DOOR POOLSE GRENSWACHTEN ONTHULDE….EN DAARVOOR

MISSCHIEN WEL MET ZIJN LEVEN HEEFT BETAALD…..

https://eng.belta.by/society/view/emil-czeczko-up-to-700-people-might-have-been-killed-during-my-10-day-stay-at-border-147674-2022/
https://www.thefirstnews.com/article/polish-soldier-who-defected-to-belarus-found-dead-from-hanging-in-minsk-apartment-28871
https://www.trtworld.com/magazine/a-tale-of-two-borders-poland-s-hunt-for-unwanted-refugees-is-still-on-56184
https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2022/mar/25/poland-detains-activists-accused-of-smuggling-migrants-over-belarus-border

[ Dit is geen volledig verslag der Oekraine Tragedie, want dat zou 

ondoenlijk zijn

Slechts enkele Zaken, die ik zeer opmerkelijk vind.

En soms pijnlijk ]

HOOFDSTUK EEN

De oplettende lezer zal gemerkt hebben, dat zijn/haar Wreker van het

Onrecht opmerkelijk weinig geschreven heeft over Europa’s HOT ITEM:

De Oekraiense Tragedie, het Wel en Wee van de Oekrainers sinds

Rusland’s agressieoorlog aldaar [1] en alles

wat daarmee samenhangt.

Okay, aanvankelijk waren daarover wel wat Astrid Essed publicaties [2],

waarin op een aantal zaken de Puntjes op de I werd gezet [3] maar daarna viel het wat stil rond dit Thema.

Niet alleen omdat er wel wat meer in de wereld gebeurt dan Oekraine,

ook al heeft de oorlog van Poetin in Oekraine grote invloed op delen

van [Noord] Afrika vanwege Oekraine’s rol als belangrijke

graanleverancier [4], maar ook, omdat ik de ontwikkelingen

wilde afwachten.

Er gebeurde en gebeurt dagelijks zoveel op dit gebied!

in dit artikel wil ik  focussen op een minder belichte kant

van de Oekraiense Tragedie, die uitmondde in een grote Vlucht naar

het Westen van Europa, tevens een minder fraaie kant in het kader

van die ”Solidariteit met Oekraine”

Want hoe zit dat daar eigenlijk feitelijk mee.

IS het wel zo, of zitten er een aantal nare Addertjes onder het Gras.

Daarover gaat dit Longread artikel [maak je borst dus maar nat].

Maar eerst een overzicht en een  belichting van Andere Zaken.

POETIN’S OORLOG

INVAL IN OEKRAINE

We weten het inmiddels

Op 24 februari 2022 viel het Russische leger, in opdracht van 

Rusland’s president Poetin, Oekraine binnen [5]

Ik citeer uit de Verklaring van Vladimir Poetin, President Aller Russen:

”I am referring to the eastward expansion of NATO, which is moving its military infrastructure ever closer to the Russian border”

EN

”The people’s republics of Donbass have asked Russia for help.In this context……

I made a decision to carry out a special military operation.” [6]

Lees het gehele Statement, dat bol staat van rhetoriek

waarop ik verder niet inga, onder noot 7

Nu moet ik zeggen, wat betreft het opdringen van de NAVO

richting Russische grens heeft Poetin, geo politiek bekeken,

natuurlijk wel een punt. [8]

Nog los van de wens bij Staten en ook volkeren tot aansluiting bij de EU [9], is dit natuurlijk ook Westerse/

NAVO machtspolitiek geweest om te profiteren van de verzwakking van Rusland na het uiteenvallen van de

Sovjet-Unie.

Daarin heeft Poetin gelijk, maar dat rechtvaardigt uiteraard

NIET het binnenvallen van Oekraine, een Soevereine Staat.

GOED!
Of liever gezegd

SLECHT!

Wat er daarna gebeurde was te voorspellen:

[Even in het kort]

De EU stelde sancties in tegen Rusland [een proces dat

nog doorgaat op het moment van schrijven van dit artikel] [10], er kwamen Europese en Amerikaanse

wapenzendingen voor het zich [dat moet gezegd] dapper 

verzettende Oekraiense leger, al zitten daarin, dat moet gezegd, nogal wat extreem-rechtse elementen [11]

Maar hoe verontrustend ook, dat maakt de strijd tegen het Russische imperialisme [niet minder gevaarlijk dan het

Westerse imperialisme] er op zich niet minder heroisch om.

Verder nu bijna klassiek de toespraken van de

zo langzamerhand tot popster verheven Oekrainse president

Zelensky [12] [die van geen wijken wil weten, dat moet gezegd]

Overigens, en dat moet hier nadrukkelijk gezegd, begonnen

die wapenleveranties al VOOR de Russische aanval

op Oekraine [13], wat een zeker Licht werpt op

de Westerse Mogendheden…..

DE HELE WERELD TEGEN RUSLAND?

NONSENS!

Naast die wapenleveranties aan dapper Oekraine, dan ook nog twee VN Resoluties, een van de Algemene

Vergadering en een VN Veiligheidsraadsresolutie, ter

veroordeling van de Russische invasie in Oekraine.

Die VN Veiligheidsraadsresolutie werd, uiteraard, getroffen

door een Veto van Rusland [14], de Algemene Vergaderingsresolutie werd wel aangenomen [15], al was het wereldwijd geen onverdeeld succes:

Want naast de vier [dictatoriale] landen, die Rusland bleven 

steunen [Belarus oftewel Wit-Rusland, Syrie, Noord-Korea 

en Eritrea], waren er maar liefst 35 onthoudingen! [16]

En dat waren niet de minste landen.

Er waren belangrijke landen en grootmachten bij, zoals

Rusland’s Bondgenoot en Frenemy [in de zin van concurrent] [17] Wereldmacht China, Opkomende Economie

India, Oude Bondgenoot [dus niet verwonderlijk] Cuba, maar

ook Afrikaanse landen als Tanzania, Zimbabwe en Congo

[18]

Wel opvallend is dat Myanmar, ook een min of meer Bondgenoot of Medestander van Poetin [19] een onverwachte move maakte en stemde voor de Rusland

veroordelingsresolutie [20]

Natuurlijk, de diverse onthoudingslanden hebben alle zo hun

eigen redenen, maar het EU/VS narratief, dat ”de hele wereld tegen Rusland is”, is dus een Sprookje [21]

HOOFDSTUK TWEEDE VLUCHTELINGENWAT GEBEURT ER MET DE VLUCHTELINGEN?
ABLOND HAAR EN BLAUWE OGEN
Nu over de vluchtelingen, iets dat mij na aan het hart ligt

Besproken is de nare kant van de Politiek, de Invasie,
het oplopende aantal oorlogsslachtoffers, de oorlogsmisdaden aan Russische, maar ook [mogelijke]aanOekraiense kant [22], welk laatste maar weerbevestigt het Oud Afrikaanse Spreekwoord”Als Olifanten vechten, wordt het Gras vertrapt” [23]Met andere woorden:De gewone mensen zijn door die oorlog en machtsspelletjesKop van Jut, Kind van de Rekening.
Nu dus die Vluchtelingen:
Tragisch en actueel wat betreft de OekraienersVan hen zijn meer dan 6 miljoen mensen gevluchtsinds de Russische invasie in de Oekraine [volgensinformatie Europa Nu dd 12 mei 2022] [24]Meer dan twee miljoen Oekraiense vluchtelingen zijnin Polen, in Nederland waren er, geteld op 24 mei anno Domini[volgens het Dagblad van het Noorden], 64.000 [25]Dat is best een groot aantal, 6 miljoen vluchtelingen opeen bevolking van ruim 44 miljoen mensen [26]Opvallend was het warme onthaal, dat ze door heel Europakregen. [27]De Landelijke Actie Oekraine leverde 

maar liefst 106 miljoen euro op [28] en Gastgezinnen stondenwijd en zijd klaar, ruim 25 000! [29]Dat is fijn.Ik gun iedere vluchteling een warm welkom:Maar zoals bij elk Sprookje, had het Geheel ookeen Schaduwzijde, namelijk een van de REDENEN, vandie plotselinge gastvrijheid jegens vluchtelingen, die weleensanders is geweest [30]Namelijk:Mensen, die op ons lijken, met [ook] Blond Haar en Blauwe Ogen.Zoals een journalist het verwoordde:”

“It’s very emotional for me because I see European people with blue eyes and blonde hair being killed.” [31]

Dat deugt niet.

En zeker niet als het van een journalist komt, een gildelid

van de Pers, die zo’n grote invloed heeft op de Publieke

Opinie [lees wat Malcolm X opmerkte over de pers….] [32]

Maar…..er is ook een andere kant, want ik wil fair zijn

tot op het bot.Deze journalist is natuurlijk een kwaadwillige, want waarom speciaa die opwinding over ”Europeanen met blond haar enblauwe ogen” [33]Aan de andere kant is het universeel [en dat hoeft helemaalgeen racisme te zijn], dat mensen zich eerder identificeren met mensen, die op hen lijken.Dat is niet alleen in Europa zo, dat is ook zo in de restvan de wereld:Afrikaanse landen zetten graag hun grenzen open voorAfrikaanse vluchtelingen en leven erg mee [34], hoewelze gastvrijer tegen buitenstaanders zijn dan Europa [35],en zo gaat het, wat herkenbaarheid en identificatiebetreft, ook in andere delen in de wereld.
Op zich geen probleem, zolang die ”identificatie” maarniet ontaardt in de uitsluiting van andere mensen.DAN wordt het racisme en xenofobie, die- en dat is ook helaas een waarheid-lang niet alleen in Europa voorkomt,zowel wat regeringsbeleid betreft als de houding van de bevolking.Niet alleen in Europa dus”Want hoewel ik sprak over de vaak grotere verdraagzaamheid van Afrikaanse landen [36], is er ookeen schaduwzijde:Zo waren er enkele jaren geleden [ik noem 2008 en 2017] in Zuid-Afrika zwarexenofobische rellen tegen Afrikanen uit andere landen [37] enlaten we ook de etnische zuiveringen van de Oegandese dictator Idi Amin jegens de toenmalige Indiase gemeenschapin Oeganda niet vergeten. [38]Ik noem dit bewust om te benadrukken, dat xenofobieeen wereldwijd probleem is en niet alleen in het Westenvoorkomt.
B”ETNISCHE OEKRAIENERS” EN DE ANDEREN
Om terug te keren tot die vluchtelingenXenofobisch onderscheid werd gemaakt door burgers,regeringen, de EUWaar ”etnische” Oekraieners van overal van harte welkomwerden geheten [39], was dat met anderen, die ook in Oekraiene woonden, Afrikanen, Aziaten, meest studenten, maar ook ”gewone” migranten, 

veel minder vanzelfsprekend.

Het begon vaak al in ”vlucht”treinen richting Polen, waar zij

discriminatie en vaak geweld ondervonden en bij de grens,

waar er Poolse grenswachten waren, die hen weigerden door

te laten [40]

Ook werd er gerapporteerd over Poolse hulpverleners,

die weigerden Afrikaanse vluchtelingen uit Oekraine

te helpen. [41]

Gelukkig waren er ook positieve Verhalen over Oekraieners,

die Afrikaanse vluchtelingen te hulp schoten bij geweld [42]

Nu waren al decennialang Poolse [en andere Oost-Europese

burgers] burgers opgestookt door media en politiek

met de gebruikelijke negatieve anti migratieretoriek [43], bedinvloed door het vaak herhaalde narratief, dat er

miljoenen Afrikanen richting Europa komen…..[44]

Wat in de praktijk bepaald niet klopt [45]

Ook daarom is het wel interessant om te benoemen, hoeveel

Afrikaanse en andere migranten/studenten/vluchtelingen

van kleur in Oekraine woonachtig zijn [waren, door de oorlog

is zoals bekend een aantal gevlucht, ook al kon

lang niet iedereen weg, zoals bekend [46]Volgens gegevens van de Oekraiense regering 

 waren er in 2019 80.470 buitenlandse studenten in

Oekraine [noot One World] waarvan 20 procent uit

Afrika, voornamelijk uit Nigeria, Ghana, Marokko en Egypte

[47]

En dat zijn er dus bepaald geen ”miljoenen”……..

Overigens heeft de Oekraiense regering het racistische

geweld tegen Afrikanen en andere studenten/migranten

van kleur officieel veroordeeld:

,,Afrikanen die op zoek zijn naar evacuatie zijn onze vrienden en moeten gelijke kansen krijgen om veilig terug te keren naar hun thuisland”, aldus de Oekraiense

minister van Buitenlandse Zaken Dmytro Koeleba

[48]Maar er was natuurlijk niet alleen racisme en xenofobieaan de Pools-Oekraiense grens of in Polen zelf:Ook in Nederland bleek dat bij de opvang van Oekraiensevluchtelingen:Zo wilde de eigenaar van een Opvangboot voor Oekraieners ”alleen kinderen, vrouwen en etnische Oekraieners [49]En uiteraard heeft de Gemeente Amsterdam daarop desamenwerking met hem opgezegd [50]Ondergetekende heeft de betrokken Boosdoenernog een  Brief op Poten geschreven [51]CNIET TE VERGETEN:VLUCHTELINGEN, DIE VASTZITTEN TUSSEN POLEN ENBELARUS [WIT-RUSLAND]

”Ik ken een echtpaar dat in de zone woont”, zegt Karolina. “De man is een verklikker. Hij gaat dagelijks het bos in en belt de politie als hij iemand vindt. Intussen belde zijn vrouw mij, omdat ze heimelijk een berg sokken had gebreid voor de vluchtelingen.” [52]
De groep vluchtelingen, die bij alle commotie rond de xenofobie tegenover Afrikaanse en Aziatische studenten en/of migranten, die Oekraine proberen te verlaten, een beetje wordt ondergesneeuwd, zijn de vooral uit het Midden-Oosten afkomstige vluchtelingen, die al sinds vorig jaar 2021[pak em beet, september, october] vastzitten in een niemandsland tussen Polen en Belarus [Wit-Rusland], naar Belarus ”gelokt” door dictator Loekasjenko met een valsevoorspiegeling van zaken, dat ze zo snel via Polen de EUbinnen zouden kunnen komen [53]Dat gebeurde niet, want ze werden bij de grens tegengehouden door Poolse grenswachten, waarna een naarmachtsspelletje ontstond tussen Polen/EU enerzijds enBelarus anderszijds [54]Ondertussen werd het winter, hulp voor de vluchtelingen kwam er niet of te weinig, hoewel het Rode Kruis, maar ookPoolse vrijwilligers hun best deden [55], vluchtelingenoverleden door kou, werden mishandeld, soms neergeschoten [56], een schande voor de ”Europese Waarden” [57]Het opvallendste was wel de giftige EU retoriek, die, in plaats van Polen te wijzen op het Vluchtelingenverdrag [58] en recht op asiel, Polen stijfde in deze tegen het Internationaal Recht ingaande houding, waarbij ook nog sprake was van de illegale ”pushbacks” [59], door het recht van Polen, haar grenzen te verdedigen, bekrachtigde, alsof het hiereen Buitenlandse Vijand betrof! [60]Wat stond en staat dat in schril contrast met de Ontvangst,die nu de Oekraiense vluchtelingen krijgen [61], dieworden ontvangen op een manier zoals het met iederevluchteling zou moeten gaan!Tegen de komst van de vluchtelingen, die daar in Niemandsland vastzaten [en waarschijnlijk nog zitten], wordter een Muur gebouwd [62], Oekraieners krijgen nog netgeen Rode Loper uitgespreid.Daarom heb ik mij hard gemaakt voor deze groep geneneerden, middels brieven en artikelen [63]Iemand moet het doen
Maar daarnaast:Lof voor de Poolse vrijwilligers, individuele Poolse burgers,initiatieven, die deze mensen hielpen [64]EN….speciaal Hulde aan vier activisten van de actiegroepGrupa Grania, die [ik lees een artikel van april 2022] eindmaart 2022 zijn gearresteerd wegens mensenhandel,terwijl hun enige ”misdaad” was het verlenen van humanitaire hulp aan een Familie, die gestrand wastussen Polen en Belarus! [65]Hen hangt 8 jaar gevangenisstraf boven het hoofd [66]Ik weet niet, hoe het met hen is afgelopen, maar vergetendoe ik hen niet!

Al Deze mensen maken de wereld wat lichter!

HOOFDSTUK DRIE
NEDERLAND EN DE SOLIDARITEIT MET DE OEKRAIENSE VLUCHTELINGENSOLIDARITEIT JEGENS DE ENE EN DISCRIMINATIE JEGENS DE ANDERE?DE ENE VLUCHTELING IS DE ANDERE NIET…..
Uitgebreid heb ik de revu laten passeren [zie bovenstaande]over de ongelijke behandeling/ontvangst tussen voor de Poetin agressie vluchtende Oekraiense vluchtelingen enerzijds en Afrikaanse/Aziatische al dan niet studenten,die in Oekraiene woonachtig waren [zijn, als ze bij de grensmet succes werden tegengehouden] anderszijdsOok -wat mij na aan het hart ligt, omdat er steeds minderaandacht voor is- over de ongelijke behandeling tussenOekraiense vluchtelingen en de vluchtelingen [merendeelsuit het Midden-Oosten afkomstig], die nog steeds vastzittentussen Belarus [Wit-Rusland] en Polen en slachtoffer werdenvan een cynisch machtsspel.
Maar er is meer dan het racisme van Poolse autoriteiten/grenswachten/burgers etcEr is ook nog zoiets als het minder openlijke, maar weldegelijk discriminatoir EU BeleidEn dat, beste lezers, is gevaarlijker dan het racistischgestunt aan de grens van een aantal [niet allemaal, laatdat ook gezegd zijn] [67] Poolse grenswachten, omdat eendoor de EU uitgestippeld beleid, dat zogenaamd voor”Westerse Waarden” [68] staat, een directe invloed heeftop de publieke opinie, omdat zo discriminatie, het makenvan onderscheid tussen groepen vluchtelingen, wordtgenormaliseerd.
En waarde lezers, het EU beleid IS discriminatoir:Waarom?Begin maart besloot de EU [Europese Unie dus] om mensen,die Oekraine ontvluchten, tijdelijke bescherming te verlenenop basis van de Richtlijn Tijdelijke Bescherming [69]Deze Richtlijn Tijdelijke Bescherming is bedoeld voor [ik citeer Verblijfblog] ”een situatie van massale toestroomvan ontheemden uit derde landen, die niet naar hun landvan oorsprong kunnen terugkeren” [70]Nogal wiedes, zal de oplettende lezer opmerken, ze zijnnet gevlucht, natuurlijk kunnen ze niet terug.Hoe dan ook, die Richtlijn Tijdelijke Bescherming, in hetleven geroepen na de burgeroorlogen in het voormalige Joegoslavie [in 2001 tot stand gekomen] [71]  houdt onder andere in, dat vluchtelingen een tijdelijke verblijfsvergunningkrijgen [ze hoeven dus geen asiel aan te vragen], dat ze mogen werken, onderwijs genieten, recht hebben op socialevoorzieningen en op gezinshereniging [72]
Dat klinkt allemaal mooi en waar en blij, dat dit is toegepastop de Oekraieners, maar waarom dan niet op de massalestroom van Syrische vluchtelingen uit 2015-16, die tochook onder deze categorie vielen?Dat vind ik discriminatoir en het niet toepassen van dieTijdelijke Richtlijn op de Syrische ontheemden vielauteurs van Verblijfblog ook op. [73]Ook is het opvallend, met hoeveel gemak de Overheid deopvang van duizenden Oekraieners in korte tijd kon regelen en zelfs de Koning bood een logeer/woonplaats aan [74]
En dat vind ik mooi voor die Oekraieners uiteraard, maar dat de bereidheid van Gemeenten om vluchtelingen [vaak statushouders, nog steeds wachtend op een huis, maar ook”gewone” asielzoekers] uit Ter Apel een opvang te verlenen, zo mager was [is] [75], dat er nu een ”dwangwet” in voorbereiding is om Gemeentente verplichten, vluchtelingen op te nemen als het inTer Apel uit de klauwen loopt [76]Ook heeft Vluchtelingenwerk gedreigd, naar de rechter testappen, als de Overheid niet voor 1 augustus de vluchtelingen-Ter Apelcrisis heeft opgelost [77]

Wordt er dus met twee maten gemeten, ja of nee?
NEDERLAND EN DE SOLIDARITEIT MET DEOEKRAIENERS/BARSTJES IN DIE SOLIDARITEIT/TROUBLE IN PARADISE?Opvang in gezinnenOnderwijs
Nou is meeleven met vluchtelingen, die moetenvluchten voor oorlog, Een Ding.Als de ”dichterbij” komen en ”gewone” mensenworden, weer een ander Ding.Activiste en schrijfster Joke Kaviaar merktedaarover op [naar aanleiding van de massalekomst van Syrische vluchtelingen naar Europa/Nederland]”Zijn naam was Aylan Kurdi [78, noot Astrid Essed]Heeft zijn dood iets veranderd? En zo ja, ten goede often kwade? Wat gebeurt er, als alle emotie weg is, alsal die vluchtelingen in een opvangcentrum bij mensenin de buurt komen en gewone mensen blijken te zijn,sommige aardig, andere niet? Hoe snel is het medelijden danvertrokken en heeft weer plaatsgemaakt voor wantrouwen?[Einde citaat Joke Kaviaar] [79]
Nu viel-in dit geval- dat wantrouwen nog wel mee,voor zover ik dat kon constateren.Maar wat WEL een soms pijnlijke confrontatie was,dat na de aanvankelijke hype van de duizenden,die zich opgaven voor de opvang van Oekraiensevluchtelingen [80] al gauw de domper kwam, omdatdit in een niet onaanzienlijk aantal gevallen bar bleektegen te vallen [81]Nou nog los van het feit, of ze al dan niet ”aardig” waren,die Oekraiense vluchtelingen, werd het al gauw duidelijk,dat velen zich in de emotie van het moment hadden opgegeven.Mooi misschien, maar niet verstandig, want bij deopvang van zeker oorlogsvluchtelingen komt heelwat kijken.Vaak zijn de mensen, logischerwijs, getraumatiseerd,hier vormde natuurlijk ook de taal een barriere en het isverstandig je te realiseren, wat de opvang vanvluchtelingen werkelijk betekent [82]Dat is dus de eerste Trouble in ParadiseEen tweede is nog griezeliger, de zorgen over sexuele uitbuiting van de toch al zo kwetsbare Oekraiensevluchtelingen [83]Ronduit kwaadaardig, evenals de economische uitbuiting[door werkgevers] [84], waarop ik nog terug kom.Maar weer herhaal ik ten overvloede:Wat een verschil in opvangbereidheid van individuen enpositieve berichtgeving over Oekraiense vluchtelingen,in tegenstelling tot andere groepen [85]
Dan zijn er natuurlijk de hobbels/aanpassingsproblemenvan Oekraiense leerlingen in het Nederlandse Onderwijs.Want hoewel scholen de leerlingen en masse metopen armen lijken te ontvangen [86], haalt dat niet de angeluit de problemen.De kinderen komen uit een oorlogsgebied, hebben daar familie moeten achterlaten, vaak vaders, die in het legertegen de Russische bezetter moeten vechten [87], hebbende nodige ellende gezien/meegemaakt, wat traumatischkan zijn[worden]Dan is er de taalbarriere, een andere cultuur, noem maar op.Problemen, die ook wel gezien worden door medewerkersvan LOWAN, een organisatie, die scholen ondersteunt bij het geven aan onderwijs aan nieuwkomers, onder wievluchtelingen [88]

NEDERLAND EN DE SOLIDARITEIT MET DE

OEKRAIENERSOEKARIENSE LEERLINGEN/CONTACT METMEDELEERLINGENWEER STEEKT RACISME ZIJN LELIJKE KOP OP
Over racisme aan de Grens met Polen/Oekraienetegen Afrikaanse studenten en studenten van kleur[uit India etc], wat zich ook uitstrekte tot onaangenameervaringen in bijvoorbeeld Polen, heb ik genoeggeschreven.Lees Hoofdstuk twee nog maar eens terug/Maar dan nu wederwaardigheden in Nederlanden met dank aan Caroline van der Plas, Tweede Kamerlid en voorvrouwvan BBB [BoerBurgerBeweging], die dit inde Tweede Kamer aan de orde stelde.Ik citeer haar:”

Zo vertelde een docent van de Middelbare School mij [opmerking Astrid Essed: ”mij” is Caroline van der Plas] vorige 

week, dat er problemen worden ondervonden bij het onderwijzen

van Oekraiense kinderen.

Kinderen, die moeilijk kunnen meekomen en zelfs een aantal incidenten,

van racisme.

Meisjes met hoofddoekjes, die worden uitgescholden en het gooien met

bananen naar leerlingen met een donkere huidskleur. ” [89]

Nu weet ik ook wel:

Dat geldt niet voor alle Oekraiense kinderen, zoals Caroline

van der Plas ook terecht opmerkte [90] en zoals deMarokkaans-Nederlandse rapper reeds opmerkte”Met elke Boot komen er wel een paar ratten mee [91]Maar dit is meer:Want in Oost-Europa is extreem-rechts een ernstigProbleem [92] en het is ronduit gevaarlijk, alsdit hierheen wordt geimporteerd en wordt toegevoegd aande in Nederland helaas hand over hand toenemendeinvloed van extreem-rechts [93]NEDERLAND EN DE SOLIDARITEIT MET DE

OEKRAIENERS/TROUBLE IN PARADISE?/UITBUITING/

CHRISTENHONDEN/HYPOCRISIE

En nu kom ik dan [eindelijk] toe aan de titel van dit artikel

EN de reden, waarom ik die titel gekozen heb

Want hoe zit het, bij alle echte/vermeende ”massale solidariteit met de Oekraiense vluchtelingen” [zie vooral de vluchtelingenhype in Hoofdstuk Twee] nu met de werkelijke,

economische drijfveren? [diegenen met oprechte bedoelingen, van wie de meesten, niet te na gesproken

uiteraard]

Reeds noemde ik de sexuele uitbuiting van toch al kwetsbare Oekraiense vluchtelingen [94]

Bah en ronduit misdadig.

gesproken, uiteraard]Maar….er zitten nog meer Adders onder het Gras!Want al dat gejuich rond ”mensen, die op onslijken” al dan niet vergezeld van de ”blond haar en blauweogen” kwalificaties [zie wederom Hoofdstuk Twee], al dan niet aangevuld met ”mensen, die ook van christelijken Huize zijn” [Let daarop, dames en heren], had ook -en dat hadik kunnen weten-  naast de ideologische retoriek, een hardere, economische kant.Dat werd al duidelijk door het gretige welkom, waarmeeWestlandse tuinders Oekraiense vluchtelingen,die immers door de Tijdelijke Richtlijn Beschermingmogen werken [95], werden ontvangen, hetzij uitgenodigd, om in de kassen te komen werken, [96]
EN……Al gauw verschenen er lovende berichten, een uit het fundamentalistisch christelijke Dagblad, het Reformatorisch Dagblad [97], maar ook uit andere nieuwsmedia, over dankbare Oekraieners, die zo blij en dankbaar waren, datze mochten werken [98]Nu begrijp ik dat ook wel van de kant van de Oekraieners:Het leidt je af van de oorlog, de Ellende in je eigen land,de onzekerheid over het lot van je man, je ouders, anderefamilieleden.Opvallend is echter WEL, dat veel Oekraieners werkzaam zijn in horeca en land en tuinbouw. [99]En vooral in die laatste sector[met name in het Westland] is er nogal eens sprakevan uitbuiting van arbeidsmigranten, vaak afkomstig uitPolen en anderen uit Midden en Oost-Europa [100]
AND GUESS WHAT?Ook bij een aantal Oekraieners ging het mis!Want de ”massale solidariteit” met ”mede Europeanen”de Oekraieners weerhield niet, dat ook zij Kop van Jut werden.
WURG EN CHANTAGECONTRACTEN:
Aan het Licht kwam, dat Oekraiense [maar ookPoolse] werknemers werden onderworpen aaneen uiterst vuile praktijk:De zogenaamde ”Wurgcontracten” [101]

Oekraïense vluchtelingen, maar ook Polen die in de Westlandse kassen aan de slag willen, komen daar veelal terecht via bemiddelaars, zoals het Poolse uitzendbureau Janpol.

Een van de opvallendste clausules in het in kreupel Nederlands opgestelde contract is dat overtreding van de regels “kan leiden tot deportatie naar Oekraïne en een verbod op toegang tot EU-landen”. Met andere woorden: Oekraïners die fouten maken, worden teruggestuurd naar de oorlog. [102]

Kan het walgelijker?

Vakbond CNV, die de noodklok luidde, is

in het bezit van een geanonimiseerd contract, waar wordt

vermeld een brutoloon van een brutoloon 10,48 euro per uur, 

het minimumloon. 

Aan het begin van elke maand moeten er 50 euro ‘administratiekosten’ worden afgedragen. De werknemer moet voor eigen verblijf en vervoer betalen, evenals voor werkkleding en schoenen (“als het moet”). [103]

En waar vinden dergelijke Vuile Praktijken dus plaats?

Juist!

In het Westland, met zijn o zo christelijke achtergrond……[104]

EPILOOG

CHRISTENHONDEN

Ik heb u meegenomen op een Reis door de Oekraiense Tragedie.

De Russische aanval op de soevereiniteit van de Oekraine,

de onverzettelijkheid van het Oekraiense verzet [105]

Russische [en ook Oekraiense] oorlogsmisdaden [106],

het belang van Oekraine als graanschuur, waardoor nog veel meer mensen

werden getroffen en nog worden, door die oorlog [107]

En natuurlijk:

De Oekraiense vluchtelingenstroom en de massale

solidariteit van West en Oost-Europa [108] waarbij ook

helaas de schrijnende discriminatie tegen in

Oekraine [tot dusver] wonende Afrikaanse en Aziatische

vluchtelingen [109] en dan niet te vergeten de EU discriminatie,

die opviel

Richtlijn Tijdelijke Bescherming voor Oekraiense vluchtelingen,

maar destijds niet voor Syriers. [110]

De EU, die de Oekraiense vluchtelingen verdedigt [en terecht],

maar de uit het Midden-Oosten afkomstige vluchtelingen,

die vastzitten tussen Polen en Belarus, laat stikken. [111]

GOED

Maar niet voor niets heb ik in mijn titel de term ”Christenhonden”

genoemd!

Waarom? [Wie goed heeft opgelet, heeft dat al begrepen]

Omdat met de mond solidariteit, vaak vanuit ”christelijke”

hoek” werd beleden met Oekraiense vluchtelingen,

maar kijk eens wat er in de praktijk in het zogenaamde

‘christelijke” Westland gebeurde?

Uitbuiting van Oekraiense werknemers, die hun rechten

niet kenden.

Zie direct daarboven

Ik vraag mij af, of al die zondagse Kerkgangers onder

hen, die zich schuldig maken aan die uitbuiting,

zich [meestal zijn die lui erg Bijbelvast] zich deze

Passage uit het Nieuwe Testament nog herinneren

Het staat in Mattheus 25: 35-45 en ik citeer de twee

laatste gedeelten, 44 en 45

”Die laatste zinnen dus:

”Dan zullen ook dezen Hem antwoorden, zeggende: Heere

wanneer hebben wij u hongerig gezien, of dorstig, of een vreemdeling, of naakt, of krank, of in de gevangenis, en

hebben wij u niet gediend?

”Dan zal hij hun antwoorden en zeggen: Voorwaar Ik zeg u:

Voor zoveel u dit aan deze minsten niet gedaan hebt, zo hebt gij het Mij ook niet gedaan.” [112]]

Hiermee sluit ik af

Van alle nare en pijnlijke aspecten uit deze Tragedie, is

dit misschien nog het Pijnlijkste.

ASTRID ESSED

NOTEN

NOTEN 1 T/M 112

Reacties uitgeschakeld voor Oekraiense vluchtelingen, Europa en Christenhonden/Solidariteit of Trouble in Paradise?

Opgeslagen onder Divers

[Artikel Peter Storm]/Tegen deportaties in Groot-Britannie: directe actie werkt

Demonstranten bij Heathrow protesteren tegen het uitzetten van asielzoekers naar Rwanda REUTERSHTTPS://NOS.NL/ARTIKEL/2432725-EUROPEES-HOF-GRIJPT-IN-EERSTE-ASIELVLUCHT-UIT-VK-NAAR-RWANDA-TOCH-GEANNULEERD
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TEGEN DEPORTATIES IN GROOT-BRITANNIE: DIRECTE ACTIE WERKT

WEBSITE PETER STORM

Geplaatst op 14 juni 2022 door egel

dinsdag 14 juni 2022

Actievoerders in Groot-Brittannië zijn dinsdag 14 juni 2022 op de weg gaan liggen bij een detentiecentrum waar vandaan vluchtelingen weggehaald dreigen te worden, afgevoerd eerst naar het vliegtuig en dan gedeporteerd naar Rwanda. Door hun lig-actie proberen ze die deportatie daadwerkelijk tegen te houden. Het is de tweede keer binnen ene handvol dage dat in Groot-Brittannië de solidariteit met vluchtelingen zo’n confronterende, uitdagende vorm aanneemt van een directe actie. Het is geweldig om te zien, en het is te hopen dat dit soort voorbeelden steeds meer worden nagevolgd.

Wat is er aan de hand. In april van dit jaar heeft de Britse regering een afspraak gemaakt met de regering van Rwanda. In ruil voor 140 miljoen euro en een boel goodwill bij de Britse regering,(1) zou Rwanda vluchtelingen opvangen in de tijd die de Britse autoriteiten uittrokken om over hun asielaanvraag te beslissen, Rwanda is dus omgekocht om als een soort van Ter Apel – in Nederland aanmeldcentrum voor vluchtelingen – te fungeren. Heel veel mensen vinden het een schande. Mensen zijn in dat land natuurlijk helemaal niet veilig, ook in Rwanda is sprake van foltering en dergelijke.

Er zijn dus protesten, en via rechtszaken zijn al flink wat deportaties van vluchtelingen tegen gehouden. Maar de regering wil doorzetten en per se vandaag een vlucht naar Rwanda zien plaatsvinden. En een zaak voor het Britse Hooggerechtshof om dit hele deportatieplan te torpederen draaide uit op een naar resultaat. Rechter Jonathan Swift noemde het plan ‘in het publieke belang’. Wat de rechterlijke macht kon de deportatievlucht – inmiddels een prestigezaak voor de regering van Boris Johnson – dus doorgang vinden.(2)

Maar wat betreft actievoerders dus niet! Gisteren waren er flinke aantallen demonstranten bijeen bij het kantoor van de minister van binnenlandse zake Priti Patel. Vandaag gingen mensen dus verder dan protesteren. In en tweet lees ik dat ‘enkele activisten van Stop Deportations de weg buiten het Colnbrook dententie centrum geblokkeerd (hebben)’(3). Daarmee versperren ze de weg voor bussen waarmee vluchtelingen afgevoerd zouden worden. Het is te hopen dat meer actievoerders zich bij deze dappere solidaire mensen voegen. Het is te hopen dat het lukt om deze hele deportatievlucht te voorkomen. En het is te hopen dat het verzet zich zodanig uitbreidt dat het hele plan om vluchtelingen naar Rwanda af te voeren zodanig in het honderd loopt dat de regering gene andere keus heeft dan het kwalijke beleidsvoornemen te laten varen.

De actie tegen de deportatievlucht naar Rwanda komt enkele dagen na een succesvolle solidariteitsactie in de Londense wijk Peckham. Daar pakte de immigratiedienst een persoon uit Nigeria op om die te deporteren. De verblijfsvergunning van de man zou zijn verlopen. Wat daar ook van waar is, het is geen argument om mensen aan te houden en te deporteren. Dat vonden buren en buurtbewoners duidelijk ook. Mensen sloegen alarm en kwamen in actie.

Al snel was er een klein groepje van deze solidaire mensen aanwezig, net als trouwens een politiebus en een zwik agenten om de deportatie door te zetten. Initiatieven als Lewisham Anti- Raids en Southwark & Lambeth Anti-Raids (4)– netwerken die snel alarm kunnen slaan als er een immigratieraid plaatsvindt en mensen in de buurt bijeen kunnen brengen voor actie, en daarmee dus een deportatie dreigt – waren en zijn behulpzaam om snel alarm te slaan zodat er snel een protesterende menigte stond.

Gaandeweg groeide het aantal mensen dat op het alarm af kwam tot er rond de tweehonderd mensen ter plekke waren. De politiebus met de Nigeriaanse man kon niet wegrijden, de deportatie was daadwerkelijk geblokkeerd! De politie probeerde actievoerders weg te krijgen met ruw geduw en akelige agressie.(5) Maar tegenover het grote aantal mensen en hun solidaire vastbeslotenheid zette de politie niet door. Vijf uur duurde het, maar uiteindelijk haalde het gezag bakzeil. Onder luid gejuich liet ze de Nigeriaanse man gaan. De politieagenten vertrokken, uitgejouwd door de menigte: ‘Don’t Come Back To Peckham!’(6) De solidariteit had gewonnen!

Dit zijn het soort acties die iets uithalen. Het zijn juist daarom ook het soort acties waar de staat ongetwijfeld afschrikwekkende antwoorden op zoekt, want die staat wil kunnen deporteren naar believen. Het is namelijk niet de eerste keer dat het mensen door middel van directe actie lukt een deportatie tegen te houden. Vorig jaar, 13 mei 2021 om precies te zijn, slaagde een soortgelijke menigte in Manchester er in om een soortgelijke deportatie te doen stranden. Toen betrof het twee mensen uit India. Bij die actie zijn drie mensen hardhandig gearresteerd en aangeklaagd wegens ‘vergrijpen’ tegen de ‘openbare orde’. In augustus volgt een rechtszaak tegen deze moedige mensen, die inmiddels al de ‘Kenmure Street Three’ worden genoemd, naar de plek van de succesvolle actie. Ze eisen nu dat de strafzaak geschrapt wordt, en zoeken steun en getuigenissen.

Het is te hopen dat ze dit gevecht winnen. Deze mensen deden en doen wat nodig is en brachten actieve solidariteit in de praktijk. Precies wat de blokkeerders bij Colnbrook wederom proberen. Hopelijk lukt het ook daar om deportatie daadwerkelijk te doen stranden. En hopelijk bouwen we netwerken van solidaire mensen steeds effectiever op, zodat ook in de toekomst deportatie van mensen op de vlucht steeds moeilijker uitvoerbaar wordt.

Noten:

1 ‘Britse minister laat eerste asielzoekersvlucht naar Rwanda doorgaan’, NOS, 14 juni 2022, https://nos.nl/artikel/2432656-britse-minister-laat-eerste-asielzoekersvlucht-naar-rwanda-doorgaan

2 Kenny Stancil, ‘Protests Erupt After UK Court Greenlights Plan to Deport Asylum-Seekers to Rwanda’, 13 juni 2022, https://nos.nl/artikel/2432656-britse-minister-laat-eerste-asielzoekersvlucht-naar-rwanda-doorgaan , over rechtelijke uitspraak, ministeriële houding en protesten.

3 Stop Deportations, ‘BREAKING: several activists…’, Twitter, 14 juni 2022, https://twitter.com/StpDeportations/status/1536743476544655360

4 Lewisham Anti-Raids, https://twitter.com/Lewisham_AR en Southwark&Lambeth Ant-Raids https://twitter.com/SLantiraids

5 Shelley Asquith, ‘ Police were violent today…’, 11 juni 2022, Twitter, https://twitter.com/ShellyAsquith/status/1535673486965882890

6 Benny Hunter, ‘How our community in Peckham fought the Hosstile Environment – and won’, Open Democracy, 13 juni 2022, https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/evan-cook-close-peckham-immigration-raid-home-office/ en Nadeem Badshah & agencies, ‘200 protesters block immigration officers’ van during Peckham arrest’, Guardian, 11 juni 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2022/jun/11/protesters-block-immigration-officers-van-during-peckham-arrest

Peter Storm

Reacties uitgeschakeld voor [Artikel Peter Storm]/Tegen deportaties in Groot-Britannie: directe actie werkt

Opgeslagen onder Divers

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

Astrid Essed Attack on Budimex, contractor of the Poland-Belarus Wall in the war on migrants

ASTRID ESSED ATTACK ON BUDIMEX, CONTRACTOR OFTHE POLAND-BELARUS WALL IN THE WAR ON MIGRANTS

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

FOR BUDIMEX, ONLY THEIR BLOOD MONEY AND THE BIALOWIEZA FOREST COUNTS, NOTTHE REFUGEES WHO DIE IN IT…….

https://www.budimex.pl/en/about-budimex/news/commencement-of-works-on-the-border-wall.html

TOBUDIMEXTHE GREAT CONSTRUCTION GROUP, OPERATINGIN POLAND

BOARD OF DIRECTORSMANAGEMENT
Subject:About your construction of a Wall between Poland and Belarus
Demand:Stop earning blood moneyStop your cooperation with forced deportations, pushbacks andmistreatment of refugeesStop your cooperation with the violation of one of the most elementaryhuman rights!

Dear Board of DirectorsDear Management
Sometimes reality seems worse than the most creepy horror movie.Not because horror movies can’t be frightening, but because they are just for amusement and not real, although made very realistic.
But when you read and see actings in the real world, especiallyfrom politicians and their partners in crime, you realize that here arereal people involved, who really suffer and with them their families andother loved ones.That is the moment, that it is really freezing around me and others, who seekfor elementary justice.
And you, board of directors and management, have violated the most elementary human rights by constructing a Wall between Poland and Belarus.The proof is in your own declaration, under P/S, before my notes.
SHAME TO YOU!
Because you know completely well the aim of this Wall:To prevent warstricken and hunted refugees to seek for a safe homeby building a Wall on the outskirts, the outer borders of the EU borders!Because that’s the aim of the Polish government [1] and you know thatfull well!
ELEMENTARY RIGHTS
Every human being has the right to ask for asylum, as written inthe Universal Declaration of Human Rights and article 18 ofthe EU Charter of Fundamental Rights  [2], but all the Polish government did was putting an armyon her border, not only preventing refugees, trapped between Belarusand Poland to enter the EU and ask for asylum, but also treatingthem very badly [3] and using evil and forbidden practices likepushbacks [4], such as was described in an Human Rights Watch Report ””DIE HERE OR GO TO POLAND”BELARUS’ AND POLAND’S SHARED RESPONSIBILITY FOR BORDER ABUSES [5]
YOUR COOPERATION WITH HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES
So I refer to illegal pushbacks of the Polish government, that doesn’t and didn”t care about the fact, that refugees nearly were freezing to death [6],that refugees actually DID die in that no mans land between Polandand Belarus [7], a government that also mistreated refugees [8] and whatis your role?
Not only you are supporting the government in theie evil ways  by constructingthis Wall of Death and Despair, and earning Blood Money, you even have the nerve only to care about the environmental value of the Bialowieza Forest!I quote you [SEE UNDER P/S]”We understand the emotions that surround the issue of the construction of the wall on the border between Poland and Belarus, in particular, in the Białowieża Forest section; therefore, our representatives consulted the local governments on 26 January 2022. The meeting was attended by military representatives, heads of five gminas located within the development project area, forest district representatives and the Staroste of the Hajnowski Poviat.”

And don’t get me wrong:I also care for and value the great value of the Bialowieza Forest as avery important primeval forest [9], but I value human lives more andwhen people are dying in that forest I think everyone should valuetheir lives in the first place.
But you don’t care, because in your declaration [see under P/S]NOT A WORD ABOUT THE REFUGEES, WHO SUFFERED IN THEBIALOWIEZA FOREST, BECAUSE OF THE POLISH GOVERNMENT,WHICH DENIED THEM THEIR HUMAN RIGHTS!
DEMAND
I have referred to the great Injustice and the atrocities, done by the Polishgovernment to desperate refugees, mentioned in the Human Rights report andin a Statement of Amnesty International [10]
Also I mentioned your supportive role and the Blood Money, you earn with yourconstruction of this Wall.
I don’t know how many letters you have received to protest against yourpractices.I presume, not many and perhaps I am unimportant in your eyes, representingno government or great organisation.
But that doesn’t matter, because each Voice counts.
And trillion drops of water form an Ocean.
Get back on your Path of Evil, because more protests will come.
This is only the Beginning.
You have chosen your Side.
Change your construction of this Wall of Death, or else youwill be condemned by men or women of justice and in each case,by History.

Kind greetings
Astrid EssedAmsterdamThe NetherlandsEurope
P/S

STATEMENT OF BUDIMEX[NOTES BELOW]

Commencement of works on the border wall

https://www.budimex.pl/en/about-budimex/news/commencement-of-works-on-the-border-wall.html

News date: January 28, 2022Commencement of works on the border wall

On 25 January 2022, the Border Guards handed over to the contractors the construction site for the construction of the 186-kilometre wall on the border between Poland and Belarus. The contractor of the wall in the Białowieża Forest section is Budimex. The company makes every effort to ensure that works are carried out professionally and with respect for residents and the environment. Budimex will carry out works on the 100-kilometre section, and the border zone along the Białowieża Forest accounts for less than 40% of its length.

We understand the emotions that surround the issue of the construction of the wall on the border between Poland and Belarus, in particular, in the Białowieża Forest section; therefore, our representatives consulted the local governments on 26 January 2022. The meeting was attended by military representatives, heads of five gminas located within the development project area, forest district representatives and the Staroste of the Hajnowski Poviat.

During the meeting with the representatives of local governments, we confirmed that we have extensive experience in implementing projects in diverse environments. We carry out construction work, for example, in protected areas, including Natura 2000 areas in many places in Poland. The warehouses used to store our construction materials are and will be neutral for the environment. Our compliance with strict environmental standards is confirmed by numerous certificates – our construction sites have been issued with more than 100 BREEAM or LEED sustainable building certificates.

Although the contract does not require us to do so as a contractor, there will be external environmental supervision of the entire project. We understand that the Białowieża Forest is extremely valuable, and we want to work with respect for its ecosystem. The team assigned to the project has the highest level of competence to perform this task.

The works on the wall, transport and storage of raw materials will be carried out in accordance with the best construction and environmental standards. Our plan includes:

  • securing the soil with double and triple isolation to prevent leakage,
  • the use of spill kits,
  • covering and securing construction equipment repair points,
  • securing fuel tanks,
  • sorting and securing waste points,
  • preparation of separate points for hazardous waste,
  • fencing and monitoring of the area.

Our works will be carried out during the day, and the planned truck traffic at the construction location is several vehicles per hour. Upon completion, all roads will be restored to their original condition or will be improved.

Works on the entire project will take just six months. We are also on the list of strategic companies from a defence perspective. Therefore, we have a duty to act for the benefit of the country in the event of special situations from a security point of view. We responded in the same way to the calls for the construction of temporary hospitals or the completion of road and rail works after other general contractors had abandoned their contracts.

Our aim is to perform the contract through transparent subcontractor selection rules while respecting the interests of local communities and the environment. We make every effort to minimise the inconveniences for the residents and take into account the needs of the natural forest environment.”

BUDIMEX.PL

COMMENCEMENT OF WORKS ON THE BORDER WALL

https://www.budimex.pl/en/about-budimex/news/commencement-of-works-on-the-border-wall.html

[NOTES BELOW]

SEE FOR THE NOTES

WRITTEN NOTES[1]

THE GUARDIANPOLAND STARTS BUILDING WALL THROUGH PROTECTEDFOREST AT BELARUS BORDER27 JANUARY 2022
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/jan/27/poland-starts-building-wall-through-protected-forest-at-belarus-border

Poland has started building a wall along its frontier with Belarus aimed at preventing asylum seekers from entering the country, which cuts through a protected forest and Unesco world heritage site.

The Polish border guard said the barrier would measure 186km (115 miles), almost half the length of the border shared by the two countries, reach up to 5.5 metres (18ft) and cost €353m (£293m). It will be equipped with motion detectors and thermal cameras.

Poland has accused Belarus’s president, Alexander Lukashenko, of deliberately provoking a new refugee crisis in Europe by organising the movement of people from the Middle East to Minsk and promising them a safe passage to the EU in revenge for the sanctions Brussels has imposed on his authoritarian regime.

Thousands of asylum seekers, mainly from Syria, Iraqi Kurdistan and Afghanistan, were caught attempting to cross the frontier and were violently pushed back to Belarus by Poland’s border guards, and hundreds of families were trapped in the forest between the two countries in the midst of a frigid winter.

At least 19 people have died since the beginning of the border standoff between Poland and Belarus. Most of them died of exposure to freezing temperatures.

The humanitarian emergency reached its peak in November when Belarusian authorities escorted thousands of asylum seekers to the Polish border. Dozens of refugees told the Guardian how Belarusian troops gathered groups of up to 50 people and cut the barbed wire with shears to allow them to cross.

“The construction of the barrier on the Polish-Belarusian border has started,” said a statement from the Polish border guard on Twitter. “It is the largest construction investment in the history of the border guard.”

The cost is approximately 10 times the whole budget of Poland’s migration department this year.

The news has raised human rights concerns among aid workers and charities worried that refugees fleeing conflicts and starvation will not be able to apply for asylum, and there are also environmental concerns. “This money could be used to build and launch [an] effective and humane migration, reception and asylum policy,” said a spokesperson for Ocalenie Foundation, which supports refugees living in Poland. “No wall in the history of the world stopped migration. Also, it would be a disaster for the nature in Białowieża area.”

The Białowieża forest world heritage site, on the border between Poland and Belarus, is an immense range of primary forest including conifers and broadleaved trees. It is home to the largest population of European bison.

Anna Alboth, of Minority Rights Group and a member of Grupa Granica, a Polish network of NGOs monitoring the situation on the border, said: “Walls are dividing, not protecting. The decision about building such a wall on the Polish-Belarusian border is not only lawless but also brings a risk of irreversible harm to the environment, in one of the most rich natural places of Poland and the whole of Europe.

“Instead of spending money on walls and private companies, it should be spending on developing a migration policy that prioritises human rights and safety of the people on the move, local people, animals and nature.”

A border guard spokesperson, Anna Michalska, told Poland’s PAP news agency that the “intention is for the damage to be as small as possible”. She said: “Tree felling will be limited to the minimum required. The wall itself will be built along the border road.” Contractors would only make use of existing roads, she said.

Last year Warsaw’s rightwing government quadrupled the presence of border guards and military personnel in the area, creating a two-mile deep militarised zone, and built a razor-wire fence, in a show of force unknown in the country since the end of the cold war. Dozens of checkpoints were placed along the perimeter of the so-called red zone, which is inaccessible to aid workers and journalists.

Last week Poland’s supreme court condemned the government for preventing reporters from accessing the area. Judges in Warsaw said the ban was incompatible with Polish law and that “there is no justification for admitting that this particular professional group represents a threat to steps taken”.

END OF THE ARTICLE

[2]

Article 14

1. Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.

UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS

http://hrlibrary.umn.edu/instree/b1udhr.htm

Article 18

Right to asylum

The right to asylum shall be guaranteed with due respect for the rules of the Geneva Convention of 28 July 1951 and the Protocol of 31 January 1967 relating to the status of refugees and in accordance with the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (hereinafter referred to as ‘the Treaties’).

CHARTER OF FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS OF

THE EUROPEAN UNION

https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:12012P/TXT

OR

https://www.europarl.europa.eu/charter/pdf/text_en.pdf

[3]

THE GUARDIANON THE FROZEN FRONTIERS OF EUROPE WITHTHE MIGRANTS CAUGHT IN A LETHAL GAME

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/nov/07/on-the-frozen-frontiers-of-europe-with-the-migrants-caught-in-a-lethal-game

On the outskirts of the Białowieża forest – which bestrides the border between south-east Poland and Belarus – a group of seven Iraqi Kurds make their weary way towards the Polish hamlet of Grodzisk.

The latest miles of their journey have been from Belarus – crossing back and forth twice, deported after their first and second attempts. Now a third time: through sub-zero temperatures, across the primeval forest’s marshy terrain. Among them are two children: an eight-month-old girl and a two-year-old boy. When we came upon them, they were afraid to get up off the ground and begged us not to call the police, whispering: “They’ll kill us.”

The infant was still, though not asleep. They looked like waxen figures, their faces blank, though one woman’s face was covered in bruises.

This is one group among the thousands of migrants trapped in a perilous purgatorial terrain between Belarus and Poland, as gateway to the European Union, where they seek refuge and asylum. That gate has slammed shut, claiming eight known migrant lives so far. Poland’s rightwing government has secured parliamentary authority to build a Donald Trump-style wall the length of its frontier with Belarus, and meanwhile patrols the territory with a force of some 17,000 border police reinforced by military personnel.

The Polish government argues that it is a deliberate policy by Belarus to undermine the EU’s south eastern border by encouraging refugees to pour in. The government has also established a two-mile militarised zone adjacent to the frontier, from which medical services, volunteer aid workers and reporters are banned. Crystal van Leeuwen, a medical emergency manager with Médecins Sans Frontières, told the Guardian last week that NGOs must urgently gain access to the secure zone for migrants’ claims and international protection to be respected.

The migrants are part not only of the exodus in flight from war and other tribulation where they began their journeys – across the Middle East and Africa – but also pawns in a game between Belarus and Poland. Many are lured by Belarusian travel bureaux, controlled by the authoritarian government of Alexander Lukashenko, which, as middlemen, organise trips from the Middle East to Minsk, promising passage to the EU.

The Iraqi Kurdish group is from Duhok, near the Turkish border. It is the scene of intense recent intra-Kurdish fighting, and Turkish strikes against the Kurdish PKK organisation. The mother of the children, 28-year-old Amila Abedelkader, said that the group was lured to Belarus by a travel agency that would arrange travel by plane from Istanbul to Minsk, and access to the Polish border.

Migrants are charged €15,000-€20,000 when they reach Belarus. Airport photos show their arrival wearing shorts and T-shirts, clearly unaware of the temperatures awaiting them. They are then installed in state hotels managed by the regime, from which officially assigned buses and even taxis transfer them to the Polish or Lithuanian border.

Belarusian border guards then shove them past the fence. “Some migrants we saw had their faces sliced with barbed wire,” says volunteer aid worker Katarzyna Wappa. “We have amateur films showing how the Belarusians drive the migrants forward. The border guards stand there with snarling attack dogs in full battle gear.”

Abdelkader says her group had made their first crossing into Poland in early October, but were forced back by guards. Trapped between borders, they were given nothing to drink or eat. “The Polish guards caught us and pushed us back. They said: ‘Go back to Belarus.’ And the Belarusian soldier said: ‘No, no go back to Poland.’ When the water was all finished, my brother asked Polish soldiers for some water to drink. Every day we asked about water. They say: ‘No, no.’” The guards refused to supply milk for the baby. The migrants drank rainwater or from puddles.

This was their third attempt. Whether they have since been successful is unclear.

But every morning we receive news on WhatsApp from people held in the border guards’ cells. Bulletins such as: “Yesterday a family and their sick son staying with us were taken by the police back to the border.” And: “We are so frightened of going to the border because my baby is too small. Please help us.”

Back home in the nearest town of Hajnówka, Wappa says: “We are creating a network, trying to do what we can, but it’s too much to bear. People are dying in the forest and the Polish state offers no help apart from bringing in more troops, rounding them up, and deporting them back to no man’s land. And if we reach those people, what can we give them? A flask of tea, some warm clothes, then leave them in the darkness and cold?”

In the forest last week, volunteers found Mustafa, a 46-year-old man from Morocco, taken in by a volunteer named Mila. Speaking Spanish, Mustafa told us: “As I made my way through the forest, I saw a man lying on the ground. I don’t know if he was alive or dead. I walked two nights until I could go no further. I was walking at night, trying to sleep during the day. I was in a vacuum.

“Belarusian soldiers beat people,” he continued. “They beat me in Belarus. There are gangs that stand behind the army and attack us. They beat you, take your money, and split it 50-50, part for the gangs, part for soldiers. This border is like a river of death. What are you to do? Where to go, I do not know.” Mustafa’s fate remains in the balance.

Once on the Polish side, migrants are tracked down by border guards, police, army, and territorial defence forces; in the Hajnówka region, practically every second car on the road belongs to law enforcement officers. Others have darkened windows – either protecting or smuggling the migrants.

“We’re in a parcelled-off, isolated world,” adds Kamil Syller, initiator of the Green Light project, which aims to put green lights in windows to signify homes where refugees can find help, discreetly, and not be handed over to the police.

At the Mantiuk Hospital in Hajnówka, a boy from Somalia tells how he watched his two brothers freeze to death. “It’s impossible to say where it happened,” he says.

“Apparently he’s losing contact with reality,” say the doctors. “He often asks: ‘But where am I?’” The refugees who reach the hospital receive professional medical care, yet the hospital is patrolled by border guards, and as soon as someone’s health is restored, guards take them back to the border and leave them in the forest.

Medics on the Border, a group of doctors with an ambulance, operates in the “open” areas, but are not allowed in the off-limits zone. Asked how they can be of help, they say: “We need passes to the zone,” says Jakub Sieczko, a paramedic. “But this is impossible.”Advertisement

“We have no access to the off-limits zone,” says a Polish Red Cross workerfrom the border area. “We can’t hand over aid packages ourselves.”

Syller says that the refugees are freezing, succumbing to hypothermia and shaking from fear and cold. “The children are having reactions similar to epileptic attacks. The suffering and terror here can only remind you of wartime,” he explains.

Wappa feels that she is “witnessing scenes like out of a war, but at least in a war things are clear. “This is worse, because here half the society denies what’s going on. They think it’s all a big sham, that there are politics behind it. People say of the refugees: ‘Why did they even leave home and why take their children?’”

This land is steeped in dark history of flight and deportation. And there are few reminders so cogent as in the village of Narewka, where a row of houses from before the second world war is adorned with enlarged photographs of the Jewish residents who lived here until the Holocaust.

The pictures show people posing in their finest clothes: an elderly couple, an Orthodox family, a girl in a polka-dot dress with bows in her hair, a sophisticated lady wearing a cap.

Now, past those houses in memoriam for Jews deported from here, military and police vehicles pass, carrying migrants for deportation.

END OF THE ARTICLE

[4]

PUSHBACKS ARE FORBIDDEN ACCORDING TO ARTICLE  19.EU CHARTER OF FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS
 Article 18 

Article 19 
Protection in the event of removal, expulsion or extradition 1. Collective expulsions are prohibited. 2. No one may be removed, expelled or extradited to a State where there is a serious risk that he or she would be subjected to the death penalty, torture or other inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.  

EU CHARTER OF FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS

https://www.europarl.europa.eu/charter/pdf/text_en.pdf

”Polish pushback practices are also in violation of article 19 of the Charter and Protocol 4 of the ECHR, which both state unequivocally that collective or mass expulsions of aliens are prohibited”
HUMAN RIGHTS WATCHPOLISH LEGISLATION AND VIOLATIONOF EU LAW
A CHAPTER FROM THE HUMAN RIGHTS REPORT”DIE HERE OR GO TO POLAND”BELARUS’ AND POLAND’S SHARED RESPONSIBILITY FOR BORDER ABUSES
https://www.hrw.org/report/2021/11/24/die-here-or-go-poland/belarus-and-polands-shared-responsibility-border-abuses

[5]

THE HUMAN RIGHTS REPORT”DIE HERE OR GO TO POLAND”BELARUS’ AND POLAND’S SHARED RESPONSIBILITY FOR BORDER ABUSES
https://www.hrw.org/report/2021/11/24/die-here-or-go-poland/belarus-and-polands-shared-responsibility-border-abuses

[6]

”On the outskirts of the Białowieża forest – which bestrides the border between south-east Poland and Belarus – a group of seven Iraqi Kurds make their weary way towards the Polish hamlet of Grodzisk.

The latest miles of their journey have been from Belarus – crossing back and forth twice, deported after their first and second attempts. Now a third time: through sub-zero temperatures, across the primeval forest’s marshy terrain. Among them are two children: an eight-month-old girl and a two-year-old boy.”THE GUARDIANON THE FROZEN FRONTIERS OF EUROPE WITHTHE MIGRANTS CAUGHT IN A LETHAL GAME

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/nov/07/on-the-frozen-frontiers-of-europe-with-the-migrants-caught-in-a-lethal-game

SEE FOR THE WHOLE TEXT, NOTE 3

[7]

”This is one group among the thousands of migrants trapped in a perilous purgatorial terrain between Belarus and Poland, as gateway to the European Union, where they seek refuge and asylum. That gate has slammed shut, claiming eight known migrant lives so far.”

THE GUARDIANON THE FROZEN FRONTIERS OF EUROPE WITHTHE MIGRANTS CAUGHT IN A LETHAL GAME

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/nov/07/on-the-frozen-frontiers-of-europe-with-the-migrants-caught-in-a-lethal-game

SEE FOR THE WHOLE TEXT, NOTE 3

”“At least 10 people, including a one-year-old child, have died at the EU’s Eastern borders in recent weeks. Today the European Commission is bringing in measures which undermine rights and normalize the dehumanization and suffering of people at the EU’s borders.”
AMNESTY INTERNATIONALEU ”EXCEPTIONAL MEASURES” NORMALIZE DEHUMANISATION OF ASYLUM SEEKERS’1 DECEMBER 2021

In response to today’s proposals from the European Commission which would allow Latvia, Lithuania and Poland to derogate from EU rules, including by holding asylum-seekers and migrants at the border for 16 weeks with minimal safeguards, Eve Geddie, Director of Amnesty International’s European Office said:

“The arrival of people at the EU’s borders with Belarus is entirely manageable with the rules as they stand. Today’s proposals will further punish people for political gain, weaken asylum protections, and undermine the EU’s standing at home and abroad. If the EU can allow a minority of member states to throw out the rule book due to the presence of a few thousand people at its border, it throws out any authority it has on human rights and the rule of law.

“The current situation at the EU’s borders with Belarus is being used by some countries as an excuse to weaken protections of asylum-seekers and push their anti-migrant agenda. Holding asylum seekers in detention for four months, without the protection standards required by international law, is normalising de facto unlawful detention at the EU’s external borders.

“Asylum rules should be upheld, not allowed to be side-stepped by countries via so-called exceptional measures. Amnesty International is alarmed that the proposal will violate people’s rights, and exacerbate the humanitarian crisis at borders while continuing to expose the EU to further internal and external manipulation and blackmailing.

“While Lukashenka’s mistreatment and instrumentalization of migrants and asylum seekers is deplorable, he is exploiting the EU’s own tendency to treat people at their borders as a threat.

“At least 10 people, including a one-year-old child, have died at the EU’s Eastern borders in recent weeks. Today the European Commission is bringing in measures which undermine rights and normalize the dehumanization and suffering of people at the EU’s borders.”

END OF STATEMENT

POLAND-BELARUS REFUGEE CRISIS/LETTER TO THE EU/EU’S HUMAN OBLIGATIONS AGAINST THE REFUGEES

ASTRID ESSED

4 DECEMBER 2021

REFUGEES IN BORDERLAND/DECEMBER 2021

ASTRID ESSED

25 DECEMBER 2021

[8]THE HUMAN RIGHTS REPORT”DIE HERE OR GO TO POLAND”BELARUS’ AND POLAND’S SHARED RESPONSIBILITY FOR BORDER ABUSES
https://www.hrw.org/report/2021/11/24/die-here-or-go-poland/belarus-and-polands-shared-responsibility-border-abuses

[9]
WIKIPEDIABIALOWIEZA FOREST

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bia%C5%82owie%C5%BCa_Forest

[10]
THE HUMAN RIGHTS REPORT”DIE HERE OR GO TO POLAND”BELARUS’ AND POLAND’S SHARED RESPONSIBILITY FOR BORDER ABUSES
https://www.hrw.org/report/2021/11/24/die-here-or-go-poland/belarus-and-polands-shared-responsibility-border-abuses

AMNESTY INTERNATIONALEU ”EXCEPTIONAL MEASURES” NORMALIZE DEHUMANISATION OF ASYLUM SEEKERS’1 DECEMBER 2021

https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2021/12/eu-exceptional-measures-normalize-dehumanization-of-asylum-seekers/
SEE FOR THE WHOLE TEXT OF THE AMNESTY INTERNATIONALSTATEMENT, NOTE 7

END OF THE NOTES

Reacties uitgeschakeld voor Astrid Essed Attack on Budimex, contractor of the Poland-Belarus Wall in the war on migrants

Opgeslagen onder Divers

Mensensmokkel?/Let’s talk about mensensmokkel

Een boot vol vluchtelingen op weg naar de Canarische Eilanden
duin2

© Abdul Saboorhttps://www.apache.be/gastbijdragen/2021/02/17/de-jungle-in-duinkerke-een-plaats-vol-mensen-maar-menselijkheid-ontbreekt

MENSENSMOKKEL?/LET’S TALK ABOUT MENSENSMOKKEL

ARTIKEL 197a, WETBOEK VAN STRAFRECHT
MISDRIJVEN TEGEN HET OPENBAAR GEZAGARTIKEL 197a
1 Hij, die een ander behulpzaam is bij het zich verschaffen van toegangtot of doorreis door Nederland, een andere lidstaat van de Europese Unie,IJsland, Noorwegen of een staat, die is toegetreden tot het op 15 november 2000 te New York tot stand gekomen Protocol tegen de smokkel vanmigranten over land, over de zee en in de lucht, tot aanvulling van hetop 15 november 2000 te New York tot stand gekomen Verdrag tegen transnationale georganiseerde misdaad, of hem daartoe gelegenheid, middelen of inlichtingen verschaft, terwijl hij weet of ernstige redenen heeft om tevermoeden, dat die toegang of doorreis wederrechtelijk is, wordt alsschuldig aan mensensmokkel gestraft met een gevangenisstraf van ten hoogstevier jaren of geldboete van de vijfde categorie.

2 Hij, die een ander uit winstbejag behulpzaam is bij het zich verschaffenvan  verblijf in Nederland, een andere lidstaat van de Europese Unie, Ijsland, Noorwegen of een staat, die is toegetreden tot het in het eerste lid genoemdeprotocol, of hem daartoe gelegenheid, middelen of inlichtingen verschaft, terwijlhij weet of ernstige redenen heeft te vermoeden, dat dit verblijf wederrechtelijk is, wordt als schuldig aan mensensmokkel gestraft met een gevangenisstraf vanten hoogste vier jaren of geldboete van de vijfde categorie.

https://maxius.nl/wetboek-van-strafrecht/artikel197a

Dat is wat er in het Wetboek van Strafrecht staat over ”mensensmokkel”En dan begrijp ik al direct uit lid 1 de zinsnede ”wederrechtelijkereis” niet.Want ”wederrechtelijk”, betekent ”tegen de wet” [1]En tenzij iemand een ongewenstverklaring [2] aan zijn broekheeft, zie ik het ”wederrechtelijke” karakter van het reizennaar Nederland, een andere lidstaat van de Europese Unie,IJsland, Noorwegen, etc etc, niet in.Want garandeert Schengen niet het ”vrije vervoer van personenen goederen” door EU landen [3], wat natuurlijk ook voor niet EU vluchtelingen geldt, die er recht op hebben, asiel te kunnen aanvragen.Maar wacht even:Er staat meer:Er staat ook in het wetsartikel [achter Noorwegen]”of een staat, die is toegetreden tot het op 15 november 2000 te New York tot stand gekomen Protocol tegen de smokkel vanmigranten over land, over de zee en in de lucht” [4]En daar wringt em de schoen, want zo’n Protocol bestaat inderdaad! [5]Maar het gekke daarvan is weer, dat er dan maar direct vanuit wordt gegaan, dat er bij het ”behulpzaam zijn ”bij het zich verschaffen van toegang tot of doorreis door Nederland etc….” sprake zou zijnvan mensensmokkel.Met andere woorden, zoals hier in lid 1 van artikel 197a opgeschreven, wordt eigenlijk, zoals ik het lees met mijnniet juridische verstand, iedere hulp aan een vluchteling,die Nederland of een ander EU landwil bereiken, al bij voorbaat gecriminaliseerd.Dat dat tot rare dingen kan leiden, zal uit dit artikel blijken.

MENSENSMOKKEL, MENSENSMOKKEL
Ik begin weer met een definitie van mensensmokkel:Deze keer die van Amnesty International, de Encyclopedie,onder het kopje ”Mensensmokkel en mensenhandel”:
”Mensensmokkel is het illegaal begeleiden of vervoeren van mensen naar een ander land. Mensenhandel is een bijzondere categorie van mensensmokkel gericht op uitbuiting, vooral in de seksindustrie.” [6]
Kijk:
Zo gesteld zijn het duidelijk strafbare handelingen, want hetgaat hier om ”handel in mensen”, wat riekt naar slavernij, naar misbruik, naar kwade intenties.Waarvan natuurlijk geen sprake hoeft te zijn, als je slechts iemandbegeleidt van A naar B, zoals in het eerste lid van artikel 197a, Wetboek van Strafrecht, wordt gesuggereerd.
Zoals gesteld door Amnesty, dat is ook altijd mijn Beeld van mensensmokkel en mensenhandel geweest.Mensen tegen hun zin of onder valse voorwendsels [allerleivoorspiegelingen van ”goede banen in Europa”] vervoeren,vaak onder slechte omstandigheden, waarbij geen acht wordtgeslagen op hun veiligheid, en hen dan in de val laten lopenvan een of andere schurk van een seksbaas, of uitgebuitin illegale werkplaatsen.OF. en dat komt natuurlijk ook voor:Mensen vervoeren in mensonwaardige omstandigheden, opgoed geluk, tegen grof geld en dan maar wachten, of ze Europa aldan niet halen:Wat dan betekent:Maximale winst voor de Gewetenloze Schurken en alle risico’svoor de vluchtelingen, die op zee kunnen creperen [wat vaak gebeurt] en anders maar moeten zien.
Wat dat betreft komt dan lid 2 van  Artikel 197a dichter inde buurt:”2 Hij, die een ander uit winstbejag behulpzaam is bij het zich verschaffenvan  verblijf in Nederland, een andere lidstaat van de Europese Unie, Ijsland, Noorwegen of een staat, die is toegetreden tot het in het eerste lid genoemdeprotocol, of hem daartoe gelegenheid, middelen of inlichtingen verschaft, terwijlhij weet of ernstige redenen heeft te vermoeden, dat dit verblijf wederrechtelijk is, wordt als schuldig aan mensensmokkel gestraft met een gevangenisstraf vanten hoogste vier jaren of geldboete van de vijfde categorie.” [7]
Want hier is sprake van WINSTBEJAG, niet simpel iemandvan A naar B rijden……

DE ECHTE MENSENSMOKKELAARS EN DE ZWARE EUVERANTWOORDELIJKHEID
Natuurlijk zijn er gewetenloze Schurken, die vluchtelingenvervoeren in onzeewaardige rubberbootjes, die ergens in betweenop de Middellandse Zee of tussen Calais en de gehoopte bestemming, Groot-Britannie, omkieperen en kapseizen, met alleellendige gevolgen van dien, vaak vele dodelijke slachtoffers tengevolge [8]Ook vervoer in ”koelcellen” kwam en komt voor! [9]Er zijn zelfs door mensensmokkelaarstuig vluchtelingenachtergelaten in de woestijn!9 Doden tot gevolg! [10]

TUIG VERSUS TUIG/EU CRIMINELEN
Dat is Een kant van het Verhaal:Gewetenloze mensensmokkelaars.Maar er is nog een andere kantWAAROM moeten mensen vaak, zeker omde Middellandse Zee over te steken, hun toevlucht nementot dergelijk Tuig?
Of liever gezegd, wat is hierbij de verantwoordelijkheid van de EU?Want de EU is ook een bijna Criminele Organisatie!Wie daaraan twijfelt, verwijs ik naar de manier waarop isomgegaan met de vluchtelingen, die ten gevolge van de politiekemachtsspelletjes tussen Wit Rusland en de EU, vast kwamente zitten [en voor een deel waarschijnlijk nog zitten], tussen de grensvan Wit Rusland en Polen [11]Het is de EU, die allerlei deals sluit met landen, die hun mensenrechtensituatie niet op orde hebben, Turkije [12], en vooralook Libie, waar vluchtelingen in  ”martel”detentiekampen”zitten, waar vluchtelingen als slaaf worden verkocht! [13]Deals met maar een doel:Het weren van vluchtelingen, wat min of meer openlijk wordttoegegeven. [14] 
Behalve allerlei onfrisse deals die de EU dus sluit, heeft ze eenander Machtig Wapen:FRONTEX!Dat Europees Agentschap, dat de ” buitengrenzen van Europa bewaakt” [15]Klinkt al dubieusWant wat doet Frontex nou eigenlijk?Op hun eigen site lees ik:”Frontex, het Europees Grens- en kustwachtagentschap werd opgericht in 2004 om de EU-lidstaten en de met Schengen geassocieerde landen bij te staan om de buitengrenzen van de ruimte van vrij verkeer van de EU te beschermen” [16]En verderop”In 2016 is het Agentschap uitgebreid en omgevormd tot het Europees Grens- en kustwachtagentschap, waarbij het takenpakket werd verbreed van migratiebeheersing naar grensbeheer en het Agentschap meer verantwoordelijkheden kreeg bij de bestrijding van grensoverschrijdende criminaliteit. ” [17]
Lees door die Humbug heen en kom uit bij het werkelijke Doelvan Frontex:Vluchtelingen tegenhouden door hun vluchtroutes te frustreren.En de vernietigende rapportage van mensenrechtenorganisatie HumanRights Watch wil ik de lezer niet onthouden. [18]Want als een  Agentschap ”de buitengrenzen bewaakt”[19].is er voor vluchtelingen, die naar Europa willen,maar een Alternatief:Een steeds gevaarlijkere route nemen, waardoor ze de mensensmokkelaarsin de handen vallen!Amnesty International schrijft daarover:”Ongeveer 60 procent van de asielzoekers die zich in Nederland melden blijkt door iemand (een zogenaamde reisagent) tegen betaling geholpen te zijn bij de reis, voorzien van valse papieren, enzovoort. Mensensmokkel wordt door onder anderen het Nederlands ministerie van Justitie hard bestreden. Vluchtelingenorganisaties wijzen erop dat zonder reisagenten de meeste vluchtelingen, ook zij met gegronde vrees voor vervolging, Nederland niet zouden kunnen bereiken.”[20]En dat komt voor een belangrijk deel door dat EU ontmoedigingsbeleid, dat feite ingaat tegen het recht, naareen land af te reizen en daar asiel aan te vragen!
Het is duidelijk, wie hier de criminelen zijn:De mensensmokkelaars, die misbruik maken vande onmogelijke situatie waarin vluchtelingen zitten en de EU,die ze hun rechten ontzegt.TUIG ontmoet hier TUIG!

CRIMINALISERING VAN VLUCHTELINGENHELPERS
Alsof dat nog niet genoeg is, worden stelselmatig vluchtelingenhelpers gecriminaliseerd! [21]Ik heb al eerder genoemd kapiteins, die vluchtelingenuit de Middellandse Zee redden, een Franse berggids, PierreMumber, die vluchtelingen wat thee en warme kleren had aangeboden:Zij werden vervolgd! [22]En zoals zo vaak in de wereld, gaat het werkelijke Tuig vrijuit.Neen sterker nog, de organen van dat Tuig timmert wettenin elkaar [23], die medemenselijken tot crimineel kan maken!

MENSENSMOKKELAARS?VEROORDEELD TOT DRIE MAANDEN VOORWAARDELIJKEGEVANGENISSTRAF VOOR HULP AAN EEN MENS IN NOOD
Het Werkelijke Tuig blijft onbestraft en juist diegenen,die willen helpen, met warme thee, vluchtelingen uit de Middellandse Zee redden, riskeren vervolging, worden bestraftvoor hun menselijkheid. [24]Het laatste Treurspel, dat ik hierover gelezen heb is de zaak vaneen 72 jarige Arnhemse vrouw, die zich al jaren inzette voor vluchtelingen en die een vluchteling vanuit Frankrijk naar Aanmeld Centrum Ter Apel bracht.Niet in een rubberbootje, niet in een koelcel,niet in een overvolle vrachtwagen, maar gewoon in eennormale gezinsauto.En niet tegen een abnormaal bedrag.Maar voor nietsUit menselijkheid [25]Zij werd vervolgd [26], jaja, wegens ”mensenmokkel” [27]en gebaseerd op eerder genoemd artikel 197a, Wetboekvan Strafrecht [28], kreeg ze drie maanden voorwaardelijkegevangenisstraf.Ziehier het idiote rechtbankvonnis [29]Ik ga het hier niet analyseren.Iedereen, die solidair is met vluchtelingen en hetrecht op asiel hoog houdt, op de hoogte is van demensonwaardige omstandigheden in het vluchtelingenkamp in Duinkerken, van waaruit de vluchteling kwam [30] zal het na lezing met mij eenszijn, dat dit vonnis bureaucratisch,  bot en vooral gespeend isvan iedere elementaire zin voor menselijke waarden. [31]Want wat heeft deze vrouw anders misdaan dan iemand,die in  dit die overvolle vluchtelingenkamp zat, perspectief te bieden en…..naar aanmeldingscentrum Ter Apel te brengen, waar zijn asielaanvraag uiteindelijk al dan niet zou worden toegewezen! [32]DAT was de misdaad van deze vrouw!Als dat mensensmokkel is, dan breekt mijn Klomp!Toch een greep uit de idiotie EN onmenselijkheid van dat rechtbankvonnis”Verdachte heeft zichzelf evenwel in een situatie gebracht waarin zij geconfronteerd werd met de ellende in het vluchtelingenkamp in Duinkerken (verder: het kamp), maar de situatie waarin [betrokkene] , die in het kamp verbleef en voor haar een speciaal persoon was geworden, terecht was gekomen, is haar uiteindelijk toch teveel geworden.”  [33]

Wat wil de rechtbank daarmee zeggen:””Dan had je maar niet naar dat vluchtelingenkamp moetengaan. Want als je je ervan had afgewend, die vluchtelingendaar had laten stikken in hun ellende, had je je het ookniet hoeven aan te trekken en had je nu geen vonnis aande broek?”
EIGEN SCHULD, DIKKE BULT?

SIFRA EN PUA
Ik heb ooit een Bijbelverhaal gelezen, waarin twee dapperevroedvrouwen, Sifra en Pua genaamd, weigerdeneen onmenselijk bevel van een Egyptische Farao uit te voeren.[34]Ze waren dus ongehoorzaam aan de Wet
Aan hen doet deze Arnhemse vrouw mij wat denken.Aan hen doen al die vluchtelingenhelpers mij denken, dievluchtelingen even een lift geven, voorzien van thee enwarme dekens, uit de zee redden, of gewoon wat menselijkheidgeven, zonder er iets voor terug te vragen.
Tegen idiote wetgevingen in, die de Wet zo hebben opgerekt,dat menselijkheid strafbaar is geworden, dat wie asielzoekt, bij voorbaat al een crimineel is.
Ze wisten, dat ze een zeker risico liepen, al kenden ze die idiote strafmaat niet [35]
De Vraag is maar:Wat doen wij, als ons wordt gevraagd iemand, die innood is, die gewone Dienst van Menselijkheid te bewijzen?
ASTRID ESSED
NOTEN

NOTEN 1 T/M 10

NOTEN 11 T/M 14

NOTEN 15 T/M 19

NOTEN 20 1/M 30

NOTEN 31 T/M 35

Reacties uitgeschakeld voor Mensensmokkel?/Let’s talk about mensensmokkel

Opgeslagen onder Divers

Refugees in Borderland/December 2021

Magi voederbak blauwe silhouet Stockvector

Magi voederbak blau

Magi voederbak blau

REFUGEES IN BORDERLAND/DECEMBER 2021
NIGHT OF HORROR, NIGHT OF HOPE

In this Night they leave, in search for a Safe Place,not knowing where the journey ends.For they are threathened by death by a merciless dictator,while they only wanted to spread Love and Peace.Which dictators don’t like.

The journey is heavy, through cold and heat, with only a donkey toaccompany them and to ride onWith a precious Newborn Child and  another on the way.
They are lucky to find a Safe Place.And when the Danger is over, they return to their country, in safety……It was heavy, but they are Safe.
And in the Horror, they discovered, how strong they were
They were lucky, it all went well

But not everybody is so lucky……
We saw it, this year.Caught between the sick Games of politicians, a group ofpeople ended up in the borderland between Belarus [White Russia]and Poland, and neither Belarus, nor Poland-EU did care a damnedthing about those people, using them for Power Games. 
Some of them got sick, many died.Yet the Belarus dictator Loeasjenko showed more humanitythen Poland/EU. offering them some warm shelter for whoeverwanted to make use of it.
The only thing Poland and EU offered was more military, pushbacks,fences and laws that made it easy for Poland to refuse asylum….
BUT THERE WAS A LIGHT!NOT from politicians, but common people
People like you and me…..
They kept it out of the news, but there were common Polish people,who wanted to help!
So there was an old Polish woman, who made soup for the refugees!And unknown Polish people, who put a candle for their window to showthe refugees a Light in the Darkness.
Those people are not mentioned by the media, but they exist!They are not mentioned by history, but I know them.THE REFUGEES know them!
I don’t know how the refugees fare now, in this Christmas Night, but thisNight I think of them!

While centuries ago, Jozef and Maria, were helped byhospitable Egyptians, when a cruel king dictator wanted to kill the Child, those refugees get a Sign of Hope and Light fromcommon Polish people, people like you and me, who have no Powerin this World, but do something which is worth more than allthe screaming and criminal politicians, who treat the refugees like Dirt

They give Hope to people in need!

HOW FARE THOSE TRAPPED REFUGEES NOW, IN THE BITTER COLD?I don’t know.
I can’t do anything for them, but I can think of them and write about them.It will not reach them, but I believe that everything that is written, and every thought comes somewhere.Meets someone.
If there is only ONE PERSON, who, by reading this, thinks of those people,then I have reached my goal.
Let’s realize that Christmas is not the Feast of Eating and presents[however jolly that is, I enjoy it too], but to give Light in the Darkness
By thinking of those refugees and all the refugees in this world,you give them Hope.
Thank you
I wish you a Very Happy and Blessed Christmas and Health and Happiness in 2022!

ASTRID ESSED


ASTRID ESSED

Reacties uitgeschakeld voor Refugees in Borderland/December 2021

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Vluchtelingen in een Grensgebied/December 2021

Magi voederbak blauwe silhouet StockvectorMagi voederbak blau

VLUCHTELINGEN IN EEN GRENSGEBIED/DECEMBER 2021

Vannacht gaan ze weer op reis, op zoek naar een veilige Plek,onzeker waar ze zullen belandenWant ze worden met de dood bedreigd door een dictator, terwijl ze alleenmaar een Boodschap van Licht, Vrede en Gelijkheid wilden brengen.Maar ja, daar houden dictatoren niet van
De tocht is zwaar, door kou, door hitte, op gebrekkige vervoersmiddelen,met een Kind en misschien een onderweg.Ze hebben geluk.Ze vinden een Heenkomen
En als het Gevaar geweken is, gaan ze terug.
Het is een heftige Reis, niet alleen op weg naar veiligheid, maar ookeen Zielereis.Want wie moet vluchten, laat een stuk van zichzelf achter, moet aannieuwe zekerheden en onzekerheden wennen en leert dan pas zichzelfkennen in kracht en zwakte.
Ze hebben nog geluk, dat hun vlucht succesvol was, dat ze na een paar jaren inveiligheid kunnen terugkeren.
Niet iedereen heeft dat ”geluk”We hebben het gezien, dit jaar
Ten gevolge van nare machtsspelletjes tussen machthebbers belanddeeen groep mensen in het Grensgebied tussen Wit Rusland en Polen ennoch Wit Rusland, maar al helemaal niet Polen-EU, kon hetook maar iets schelen, wat er met hen gebeurde.Een aantal werden ernstig ziek, een aantal stierven.
De Wit Russische dictator was nog menselijker dan de EU, want diebood nog een verwarmde loods voor wie daarvan gebruik wilde makenPolen en de EU boden meer prikkeldraad, meer militairen en EU verordeningenom het voor Polen NOG makkelijker te maken, deze mensen asiel te weigeren.
En ze hielden het uit het Nieuws, maar er waren wel degelijk gewone Poolseburgers, die wilden helpen.Zoals die oude Poolse vrouw, die soep voor de vluchtelingen klaarmaakte.En die anonieme Poolse mensen, die een Licht voor het raam zettenom de vluchtelingen de weg door de Duisternis te wijzen.

Deze Mensen komen niet in het Nieuws, niet in een geschiedenisboek, maar wel in MIJN geschiedenisboek.En in de harten van alle vluchtelingen, die dit zagen en door dit Tekenvan Licht verwarmd werden.
Ik weet niet, hoe het nu met die vluchtelingen gaat, daar in het Grensgebied.Maar aan hen denk ik vannacht, Kerstnacht.
Waar eeuwen geleden, Jozef en Maria werden geholpen door gastvrijeEgyptenaren, na hun succesvolle Vlucht naar Egypte, omdat een Koning-dictator het Kind wilde doden, krijgen deze vluchtelingen nu een Tekenvan Hoop en Licht van gewone, anonieme Polen, mensen zoalsu en ik, die op het Wereldtoneel niets te vertellen hebben, maar iets doen watwaardevoller is dan het Gebral van vaak misdadige politici.
HOOP GEVEN
Hoe gaat het nu met die vluchtelingen in het Grensgebied daar, indie meedogenloze kou?
Ik weet het niet.Veel kan ik niet voor hen doen
Niets eigenlijkMaar ik kan aan hen denken en over hen schrijven

Het bereikt ze niet, maar alles wat wordt geschreven, iedere gedachte,komt ergens terug
Al is er maar EEN IEMAND, die door dit  te lezen, nog eens aan hendenkt
Laten we ons dan realiseren, dat Kerstmis niet het Feest van het Eten is,maar van het hoop geven aan hopelozen, Licht aan hen, die inhet Donker zitten
Aan vluchtelingen in een Grensgebied, aan Wij Zijn Hier vluchtelingen
Aan al die Vluchtelingen, die als Oud Vuil worden behandeld doorde Herodessen van Onze Tijd.
EEN kommetje Soep, Een Licht voor het Raam
En de Wereld is beter geworden
DENK AAN AL DIE VLUCHTELINGEN TIJDENS HET KERSTDINER
Iedereen  Vrolijke, Gezonde en Gelukkige Kerstdagenen voor 2022 een Gezond, Vrolijk en Strijdbaar 2022 toegewenst
Laten de Wapens van de Strijd doorgaan, de Pennen en de Zwaarden


ASTRID ESSED

Reacties uitgeschakeld voor Vluchtelingen in een Grensgebied/December 2021

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