Belarus and Poland’s Shared Responsibility for Border Abuses

The crisis at the Belarus-Poland border is leading to serious human rights violations against migrants and asylum seekers by both governments, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today.

The 26-page report, “‘Die Here or Go to Poland’: Belarus’ and Poland’s Shared Responsibility for Border Abuses,”documents serious abuses on both sides of the border. People trapped on the Belarus border with Poland said that they had been pushed back, sometimes violently, by Polish border guards to Belarus despite pleading for asylum. On the Belarusian side, accounts of violence, inhuman and degrading treatment and coercion by Belarusian border guards were commonplace. 

Transcript

A human crisis is taking place at the Belarus-Poland border, which is also the external border of the European Union.

Thousands of migrants and asylum seekers are trying to get into Poland from Belarus.

Border guards on both sides are pushing them back and forth.

People are trapped at the border. Some have died.

Exposed to freezing temperatures, they urgently need food, water, and shelter.

The EU should press Belarus and Poland to provide humanitarian access to border areas and halt pushbacks.