Migrants told Reuters they were beaten by Belarusian security forces and not allowed going back

Youssef Atallah from Syria. Photo: REUTERS / Marko Djurica
5 mins

На русском языке: Мигранты рассказали Reuters, как их били беларусские силовики и не пускали обратно
На беларускай мове: Мігранты расказалі Reuters, як іх білі беларускія сілавікі і не пускалі назад

Migrants told Reuters they were trapped between the Polish and Belarusian border crossing points. While the Poles don’t allow them to enter the territory of Poland, the Belarusian border guards don’t allow them to return to Belarus, through which they arrived in transit.

Youssef Atallah feared that he would die in the forest on the border with Poland, left without food and water in the cold. According to the migrant, when trying to return to Belarus, he was attacked by a Belarusian security officer, and because of his injuries, he could not breathe through his nose. Now Youssef is in the migration center in Bialystok. He turned out to be one of the migrants blocked in the border zone by Belarusian security forces, who had previously helped migrants get to Poland.

"We told them we want to go back to Minsk, we don't want to continue this trip. They told us there is no going back to Minsk for you. Just go to Poland", — Atallah says.
The Afghan migrant, who declined to be named, also told Reuters about his experience of getting blocked between Belarus and Poland when he couldn’t turn back and the only way out was to try to cross the border again with the help of Belarusian security services.
"The Belarusian soldiers themselves, they force and help migrants to get across the border",– he said.

According to the Afghan, the Belarusian security forces told him that this was an order from the state.

An the Afghan who fled his homeland after Islamist Taliban militants came to power in August, described as every night the Belarusian military came, took a group of 30-40 migrants from the camps and pushed them to the border

"They have a look at the border and if there is nobody there they give them a bolt-cutter and force them to cut razor-wire fence", – he said.

Despite this ordeal, the Afghan migrant is optimistic about the future, having moved to the territory of the European Union.

"I feel safer right now. I am sure that I will build a good career here and my son will get a good education - his future will be safe".

The 29-year-old Thaer Rezk, a migrant from Syria, said Belarusian guards sometimes made holes in the fence to help migrants get to Poland or Lithuania, and thus to the European Union.

We remind that for the fourth day at least thousand migrants are in the border zone between Belarus and Poland. On Monday, they were brought there by armed Belarusian security forces, and were not allowed to attend the official border crossing, through which it was possible to enter Poland legally.

Migrants set up a tent camp near the border with Poland. They want to get there for further transit to Germany. They storm the border, then apologize for it. Migrants no longer have a special choice: belarusian security forces do not let them come back, opening fire and using force.

The European Union believes that the Belarusian authorities artificially organized the flow of refugees from the Middle East and call it a hybrid aggression designed to sow chaos on the eastern flank of the NATO alliance.

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