Afghan stuck in Belarus border camp risks dying: charity – Macau Business

A 52-year-old Afghan woman stuck in a makeshift migrant camp on the border between Belarus and Poland risks dying without urgent help, a charity helping the migrants told AFP on Wednesday.
The group of some 30 migrants has been stuck on the EU’s eastern frontier for more than two weeks, with Polish border guards and soldiers preventing them from entering to make asylum claims.
While Poland has flown in hundreds of evacuees from Afghanistan in recent days, the government has ruled out allowing in migrants who it says are being forced across the border by the Belarusian regime in a “hybrid attack” on the European Union.
“We are concerned for the life of a 52-year-old woman,” said Kalina Czarnog from the Ocalenie (Salvation) foundation.
The foundation said the woman has respiratory and renal problems and a total of 12 migrants are now seriously ill.
“They do not have drinking water. They have had nothing to eat since yesterday,” the foundation, whose representatives have been communicating with the migrants through megaphones since Polish soldiers are preventing them access, said on Twitter.
Thousands of migrants — mostly from the Middle East — have crossed the border from Belarus into the eastern EU states of Latvia, Lithuania and Poland in recent months.
Brussels believes the regime in Minsk is  deliberately engineering the influx in retaliation against EU sanctions — an accusation Belarus denies.
The Polish government says the migrant camp is just outside its border and that Belarus should therefore be helping but Warsaw’s position has been criticised by the liberal opposition, human rights organisations and some Catholic leaders.
The Council of Europe’s human rights commissioner Dunja Mijatovic on Wednesday joined calls for Poland to take in the migrants, a day after the UN refugee agency made a similar plea.
Mijatovic said in a statement that the situation was “alarming”.
“Pushing people back, denying them access to fair asylum procedures, or simply leaving them stuck in a humanitarian emergency cannot be the answer of a Council of Europe member state” bound by international human rights rules, she said.
Poland this week said it would build a 2.5-metre (8.2 foot) high barbed wire fence along the border to keep the migrants out and plans to double troop numbers assisting border guards to 2,000. 


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