Polish nationalists are organizing patrols to help the authorities capture migrants crossing the country's border with Belarus illegally.
Young Polish nationalists are organizing "patrols" to help the country's military and border guards capture migrants entering Polish territory illegally by crossing the border from Belarus.
Polish media reported the news on Sunday, noting that the initiative had been launched by the Niklot association of Bialystok, which claims to aim to "defend the Slavic identity and cultural aspects of Poland."
'Help fellow Poles and not immigrants'
"Help fellow Poles and not immigrants" was written on a banner used during the first meeting of the "patrols".
"Our ancestors rendered our land sacred with their blood, and thus we cannot just stand by and watch the wave of immigrants into our territory," stated an appeal published by the association, which also criticized the numerous initiatives by NGOs seeking to assist the refugees, often entire families, trapped in the forests that the border cuts through.
Over 17,000 have tried to enter
The Polish border guard said that on Friday alone some 570 people had tried to enter Poland, and that in the month of October some 17,300 had.
On the basis of a law signed October 22 by President Andrzej Duda authorizing the immediate pushback of migrants from Poland, most of these people were sent back to Belarus, which in turn forced them to try to re-enter Polish territory.
Along the 180-kilometer Polish border there is currently a state of emergency in place but many inhabitants take aid to the forests to prevent the refugees from dying of cold and hunger.