Home 9 Immigration 9 The Belarus-Poland standoff becomes less tense, as some migrants return home

The Belarus-Poland standoff becomes less tense, as some migrants return home

by | Nov 19, 2021 11:58

Image: James Hill for The New York Times

Hundreds of individuals were returned to Iraq on the first repatriation flight organized by the country, while Belarus cleared up camps where thousands of people had gathered in the hopes of crossing into Poland.

Hundreds of migrants who had been detained in deepening suffering in Belarus, caught in an international impasse and unable to reach their destination, the European Union, were transported home on the first repatriation aircraft to Iraq.

“I wish I had died and they were bringing my corpse back,” stated Awara Abbas, 30, who arrived in Erbil, Kurdistan, northern Iraq, after spending $5,500 in a vain attempt to flee a nation where he sees no economic future.

He claimed he attempted eight times to cross from Belarus into Poland, but that when he did, Polish police apprehended him and drove him back into Belarus. “I will strive to get to Europe until my last breath,” he stated. “I’m going to attempt Turkey, Iran, or any other route to Europe.”

The trip, organized by the Iraqi government, was part of an effort to alleviate the humanitarian situation that has arisen as refugees, mostly from the Middle East, have attempted and failed to reach Poland, Lithuania, and Latvia, European Union countries bordering Belarus.

Thousands of migrants remain in Belarus, and many of those who returned indicated they would try again despite the futility and maltreatment.

In Minsk, Belarus’ capital, 430 individuals boarded an Iraqi Airways Boeing 747, according to Iraqi authorities. 390 of them disembarked in Erbil, with the rest arriving in Baghdad.

Aleskandr G. Lukashenko, Belarus’ president, has made it easier for migrants to enter the country and encouraged them to cross undocumented into the European Union in recent months, ostensibly in retaliation for sanctions imposed by the bloc following a disputed 2020 election, according to European leaders. 

However, the migrants found themselves in horrific circumstances, being abused on both sides of the border and becoming increasingly impoverished as they tented in frigid forests along the border with little food, shelter, or medical treatment.


See the full article on nytimes.com

Related Posts

Labour exploitation in the UK’s cleaning sector

Labour exploitation in the UK’s cleaning sector

Over the past months, Focus on Labour Exploitation (FLEX), the Latin American Women’s Rights Service (LAWRS) and the East European Resource Centre (EERC) have been busy running a project to help prevent labour exploitation in the UK’s cleaning...

Demands of easier and faster track to permanent work status in Canada

Demands of easier and faster track to permanent work status in Canada

Quebec immigrant advocacy groups call for more pathways to permanent Canadian residence. Many of those who attended the demonstration are temporary foreign workers, asylum seekers and international students who all want permanent status in Canada but feel there is too...

Changes to immigration policies and processes in New Zealand

Changes to immigration policies and processes in New Zealand

There have been a number of changes announced by Immigration New Zealand around the new employer accreditation and the accredited employer work visa (AEWV). At this point in time, businesses must: - Be a genuine operating business and hold a New Zealand Business...

Acute labour shortages affect food sector in UK

Acute labour shortages affect food sector in UK

MPs have warned that ministers' failure to address labor shortages caused by Brexit and the Covid epidemic could "permanently" reduce the UK's food sector, resulting in price increases. The Commons Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee stated shortages were...

Immigration options for Russian nationals

Immigration options for Russian nationals

A sponsoring entity in the host country is likely required for many of the arrangements. But there are Relocation Options for Russian Nationals Such options include temporary measures such as visa-free entry or the ability to enter as a tourist initially before...

Afghanistan has been designated for Temporary Protected Status

Afghanistan has been designated for Temporary Protected Status

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced today that Afghanistan has been granted Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months. Only people who are already living in the United States on March 15, 2022, will be eligible for TPS. “This TPS designation will...