The international Arab newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat published an article about two young Syrians, Fouad and Rafik, who arrived in Minsk from Damascus in late October. One of them has already got to the EU, and the second plans to continue the journey through Russia, despite the fact that attempts to pass through Belarus were unsuccessful. We thank the historian Alexander Friedman for the tip, who drew attention to the article in his Telegram channel.
The migrants told the publication that they flew to Minsk from Damascus on October 28. According to Syrian migrant Fouad, after landing at the National Airport Minsk, a bus approached the plane and took all the tourists to the airport building. A few hours later, a security guard came and «led us like cows» to passport control. The Syrian claims that the Belarusian authorities collect detailed information about all arriving migrants and even rewrite the serial numbers of their mobile phones.
«There they took each person’s mobile phone. They recorded its serial number with the passport, most likely to monitor us. After that, each person goes alone to the checkpoint to confirm the passport, phone and visa, with an eye print. The process took a long time»,– Fouad said.
Once at the border, their paths diverged, Rafik managed to cross the border with the help of the Belarusian military, who lifted barbed wire and threw stones at Polish border guards: «The Belarusian army men lifted the barbed wire and encouraged us to cross to Poland…A big soldier raised the wires, and another hit the Polish soldiers with stones so that we could cross without them seeing us».
Fouad, the second migrant, did not succeed, he said that at some point the mood of the Belarusians changed from «raising the wires to facilitate the passage of migrants into Poland, to beating them and returning them to the capital». The migrant says that today, November 28, an evacuation flight of Cham Wings airline will arrive in Minsk to return a group of Syrian migrants to Damascus. In recent days, migrants have been returned from Belarus en masse, however, this applies, first of all, to Iraqi citizens. There was no information about the evacuation flight to Syria yet. Nevertheless, even if the flight arrives today, Syrian migrants are not going to return to their homeland, but plan to go to Russia in order to get to the EU through Finland.
«We all decided that we would not go back to Hell. We rented an apartment for a month, for $1,000, waiting for one of two solutions; either we cross to Poland, or we go to Moscow, and from there we take a taxi to Finland and then Europe, according to what one of the Arab brokers promised us»,–said Fouad.
На русском языке:
Оставшиеся мигранты в Беларуси планируют попасть в ЕС через Россию?
На беларускай мове: Мігранты, якія засталіся ў Беларусі, плануюць трапіць у ЕС праз Расію?