Polish police officers stand at the Polish-Belarusian border near Usnarz Gorny village, northwest Poland | Photo: ARCHIVE/EPA/ARTUR RESZKO POLAND OUT)
Polish police officers stand at the Polish-Belarusian border near Usnarz Gorny village, northwest Poland | Photo: ARCHIVE/EPA/ARTUR RESZKO POLAND OUT)

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) once again asked Poland to provide assistance to 32 Afghans who have been living for weeks at a makeshift camp at the border with Belarus.

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on Monday once again called on the Polish government to provide assistance to 32 Afghans who have been at a makeshift camp for about seven weeks at the border between Poland and Belarus.

ECHR also decided to accept and give priority to an appeal that the group presented against Poland.

The Court of Strasbourg had already told Poland on August 25 that it had to take care of the Afghans by providing food, water, clothing, medical care and possibly a temporary shelter, but thus far the appeal has gone unanswered.

Now Strasbourg is highlighting that non-compliance with the requirements may lead to a sentence for having "hindered the right of Afghans to have recourse to the ECHR."

Actions of the European Court

Having agreed to review the appeal in which the Afghans claim Poland is violating their rights, ECHR invited the Polish government to provide its observations on the admissibility and merits of the case by 8 November.

To ensure the right to an effective remedy, ECHR ordered Poland to guarantee that the Afghans can meet their lawyers and that it will not send them back to Belarus. Lukashenko says "we are facing a humanitarian catastrophe"

Meanwhile, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko described the situation of the migrants at the border with Europe as "a humanitarian catastrophe."

"Let's discuss what to do now. It's wrong that people suffer. Therefore we clothed them, fed them and provided firewood and some tents. But in winter they will freeze. These are people who have walked thousands of kilometres from the south. In short, we are facing a humanitarian catastrophe at the border," Lukashenko said during a meeting with the heads of law enforcement, cited by Interfax, which recalled how Europe described undocumented migration from Belarusian territory as "a hybrid aggression by the Belarusian regime."

 

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