Thursday, November 18, 2021

Rights of migrants at Belarus border with Poland are not respected - UN spokesperson - TASS

migrants at Belarus border with Poland

The United Nations notes that the rights of the refugees at the border of Belarus and Poland are not respected, people should not be used as political bargaining chips, Spokesperson for the UN Secretary General Stephane Dujarric said at a briefing on Thursday.

"Our focus is on the people. The heartbreaking images we've seen - families of men and women and children in the freezing cold in an untenable situation," the spokesperson said.

"Our colleagues, both from UNHCR and IOM (International Organization for Migration) are working on both sides, with obviously more focused on the Belarusian side, because that's where most of these people are to try to distribute basic necessities with the support of the Belarusian Red Cross," Stephane Dujarric added.

"We've been saying for the beginning: people should not be used as political bargaining points or bargaining chips. Every one of us who lives here on this planet has a right to dignity and respect to their rights and we're not seeing that happen," he stressed.

Polish Border Guard Spokesperson Anna Michalska told a briefing on Thursday that about 500 people tried to cross the border over the past 24 hours, and 200 migrants managed to get several dozen meters into Poland. Later, they were detained.

The migrant crisis on the Belarusian border with Latvia, Lithuania and Poland where migrants have been flocking since the beginning of the year, sharply aggravated on November 8. Several thousand people approached the Polish border from Belarus and refused to leave the area. EU countries have accused Minsk of the intentional escalation of the crisis and have called for sanctions. Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko stated that the Western countries themselves were to blame for the situation since people were fleeing the war in their homelands because of the West’s actions.

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