NGOs Call on Poland’s PM to Halt Border Pushbacks Through a Joint Petition

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A petition urging for an end to the systematic practice of pushbacks along Polandโ€™s borders has been addressed to the Prime Minister of Poland, Donald Tusk, by 101 Non-governmental organisations, including European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE) member organisations.

Polish PM has been urged to put an end to the โ€œgross violations of migrantsโ€™ rightsโ€ along the Poland-Belarus border, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.

As a result of the pushback policy, at least 55 people have lost their lives on both sides of the Polish-Belarusian border since the beginning of the crisis.

ECRE

Recently, the Deputy Minister of the Interior and Administration in Poland, Maciej Duszczyk, said that pushbacks will continue to โ€œsecure the borderโ€ but with an added focus on humanitarian aspects.

However, a report from the Polish Border Guard, published by the Gazeta Wyborcza, revealed that the border wall between Belarus and Poland failed to prevent more than 60 per cent of irregular crossings to this country.

The same noted that in the first nine months of last year, in spite of the border wall, more than 30,000 people managed to reach Poland through Belarus, of which at least 13,000 reached Germany by using Poland as a transit country.

The report also reveals that for a period from January until September last year, a total of 17,488 people attempting to reach Poland in an irregular way from Belarus were detained in Poland.

In order to deal with the increasing number of migrants, Poland spent nearly โ‚ฌ400 million to erect a physical barrier along 186 of the nearly 400 kilometres of the border it shares with its neighbouring country, Belarus.

In addition, earlier this month, Polandโ€™s Prime Minister Tusk said his government would refuse to accept any relocated asylum seekers under the EUโ€™s new migration pact.

In an effort to better manage the migration situation, in September 2020, President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen proposed a new EU Pact that would establish clear rules to make sure that all EU Member States share the same responsibility when it comes to migration.

However, Tusk, earlier this month, said that his country โ€œwill not accept a single migrant,โ€ emphasising that Poland โ€œwill never be part of such a mechanism.โ€

The position of the Polish government [is that] we will not accept any forced mechanism [to relocate asylum seekers]and I want to assure you that Poland will not accept illegal migrants under any such mechanism.

Tusk

However, before requiring final approval by the European Council, the matter will undergo further discussions.

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