Poland arrests activists for damaging fence with Belarus

Thirteen activists have been arrested in Poland for destroying part of a barbed wire fence that Polish authorities are building on the border with Belarus to keep migrants out.

WARSAW, Poland — Thirteen activists were arrested in Poland on Sunday for trying to destroy part of a barbed wire fence that Polish authorities erected along the border with Belarus to prevent migrants from crossing.

Activists said it was an act of protest against Polish authorities for what they see as the “inhumane treatment” of migrants seeking to enter the nation from the European Union.

Interior Minister Mariusz Kaminski, who is responsible for police and security, said what the protesters had done was “absolutely unacceptable” and those detained “will bear all legal consequences for their actions”.

Among the detainees are 12 Poles and a Dutch citizen, according to Polish media.

Poland – like Lithuania – has seen a wave of migrants crossing its border with Belarus in recent weeks. The government in Warsaw accuses Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko of sending migrants from Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere across the border in a “hybrid war” to create instability in the EU27. borders that Lithuania and Poland have with Belarus are part of the eastern border of the EU.

In response, Poland began building a barbed wire fence along the border.

But local attention has focused on 32 people – described by a refugee group as Afghans – who have been stuck in no man’s land along the border near the Polish village of Usnarz Górny for weeks. The Polish government said they were on Belarusian soil and would not let them walk the short distance to Poland to seek asylum. He argues that Belarus is responsible for it.

In a statement, activists who attempted to break through the barbed wire fence said: “We do not accept the humiliation, inhuman treatment and denial of medical assistance to refugees, and we do not accept the use of unlawful refoulement procedures. .”


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