New Brunswick Tribune

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

On stone-throwing migrants, Polish forces deploy water cannons

Key takeaways:

  • Migrants assaulted Polish border guards with stones near the Belarusian border, prompting response with water cannons.
  • According to Poland’s Defense Ministry, stones and other objects were thrown at soldiers and other border forces.

On Tuesday, Polish border guards said they were pelted with stones by migrants near the Belarusian border and retaliated with water cannons.

A water cannon was directed across the border at a group of migrants in a makeshift camp in frigid temperatures, according to a video uploaded on Twitter by the Border Guard agency.

One cop was critically hurt, according to Polish authorities. He was taken to the hospital via ambulance, and his skull was likely broken due to being struck by an instrument.

The event is the latest development in a critical migratory and political border crisis that threatens the lives of thousands of migrants.

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According to Poland’s Defense Ministry, stones and other objects were thrown at soldiers and other border forces.

According to the ministry, Belarusian forces attempted to dismantle fencing at the countries’ shared border, and the Interior Ministry tweeted a video of migrants attempting to break down a fence.

Tight media control

Because a state of emergency in Poland prevented reporters and human rights workers from entering the border area, there was no way to objectively verify what was going on. 

Journalists in Belarus are also severely restricted in their capacity to report, with only a few present at the border.

A Polish independent broadcaster, TVN24, was obliged to rely on CNN at one point on Tuesday to provide a picture of the border that government officials did not vet.

After the state of emergency ends at the end of this month, Poland’s parliament is likely to take up a legislative proposal on Tuesday that would control residents’ ability to move in the border area with Belarus.

Polish forces use water cannons at migrants throwing stones at Belarusian  border

When many immigrants from the Middle East tried to cross the border from Belarus into Poland in early September, the state of emergency was announced.

The frontier also forms part of the European Union’s eastern border. The EU accuses Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko’s authoritarian rule of inciting a migration crisis to pressure the EU.

The EU has pressured airlines to stop flying Syrians, Iraqis, and others to Belarus.

Iraqis are being urged to return to their homeland.

In the meantime, the Iraqi government urges its people stranded on the border to return home.

On Tuesday, an embassy spokeswoman told Interfax that 200 Iraqi citizens who arrived in Belarus to cross into the EU reached out to the Iraqi Embassy in Russia and showed a desire to return to their homeland.

According to the official, an evacuation flight will take place on Thursday, and all individuals intending to return to Iraq have already arrived in Minsk, Belarus’s capital. 

The ambassador told Interfax that transferring the refugees from the border to Minsk was not a problem and that Belarusian officials had offered all required support.

Source: CBC News

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