Four bodies found on Polish-Belarus border as spat over migrant crisis worsens

Three individuals have been discovered lifeless on the Polish facet of the border after affected by hypothermia, Polish authorities stated. A fourth particular person was discovered lifeless in Belarus, one meter from the border, Belarusian state company Belta reported.

A rising variety of migrants have been illegally crossing Poland’s border from Belarus in latest weeks. In August alone, 3,000 individuals — many from Afghanistan and Iraq — tried to enter Poland illegally, based on the Polish inside ministry.

In a press convention Monday, Poland’s Minister of Inner Affairs and Administration Mariusz Kamiński stated one of many victims discovered Sunday was an Iraqi citizen who died close to the Lithuanian border in Frącki, Poland.

Kamiński stated the Iraqi citizen and the 2 different victims present in Poland have been pressured to the Polish border by Belarusian border guards, earlier than Polish border authorities advised them their crossing was unlawful and there was no method by.

It isn’t the primary time Poland has accused Belarus of sending migrants to its border. In a joint statement in August, the prime ministers of Poland and Baltic international locations Latvia and Lithuania, which additionally border Belarus, blamed President Alexander Lukashenko for systematically organizing the continuing refugee disaster, “unlawfully” directing refugees and migrants to the EU exterior border in what they described as a “hybrid assault” towards all the bloc.

The leaders stated that they might absorb any refugees crossing the border however would name for “potential new restrictive measures by the EU to stop any additional unlawful immigration.”

Belarus floods the European Union with migrants, taking a page out of Putin's playbook

However Poland has acquired sharp criticism over its therapy of migrants. The nation has begun to construct a barbed wire fence to curb unlawful migration and Polish President Andrzej Duda in early September declared a 30-day state of emergency in a stretch of its border with Belarus.

European officers have additionally accused Belarus of encouraging individuals to cross illegally into Poland, and its different EU neighbors, as a part of efforts to place strain on the bloc over sweeping sanctions it imposed on Minsk. The sanctions by the EU, the US and Britain in June have been a coordinated response to the Lukashenko authorities’s pressured touchdown of a Ryanair flight and arrest of an opposition journalist in addition to “persevering with repression” within the former Soviet state.
Lithuanian officials say migrants are being flown from the Center East to Minsk, after which guided to the Belarus-Lithuania border by unspecified facilitators, the place they’re allowed to cross unimpeded by Belarusian border police. Lithuania has referred to as it “petty” and “mass revenge” for the EU sanctions.
A Western intelligence official advised CNN in August that the scheme couldn’t perform with out the permission of the Belarusian state, and that Lukashenko was possible utilizing the migrants as a method to strain the EU into negotiations to elevate the sanctions towards him.

Lukashenko himself publicly threatened to flood the EU with “migrants and medicines” in Could.

Europe's disunity and lack of trust imperil the continent's future

The UN Migration Company stated in a press release earlier this month that it was deeply involved by the “dire situations” confronted by migrants on the EU-Belarus border, the place a bunch of round 30 migrants had been caught for a number of weeks with restricted entry to ingesting water and meals, medical help, sanitation and shelter.

In a press convention earlier this month, Kamiński described the group of migrants caught on the border as “the tip of the iceberg,” including “our safety is in danger, and we act in proportion to the size and diploma of the menace.”

“Lukashenko desires to threaten us. We is not going to enable Poland to be one other route of mass switch of unlawful immigrants to the EU. We is not going to enable the safety of our residents to be compromised. These actions are geared toward making certain safety on the Polish border, its integrity and the protection of residents who dwell on the border,” Kamiński stated.

CNN’s Stephanie Halasz and Nick Paton Walsh contributed to this report.

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