STOCKHOLM, October 18. / TASS /. The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly called on the governments of Belarus, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland to join efforts to ensure access to food, water, medical services and temporary shelter for people trapped in the border area between their countries.
“No matter why and how these people arrived in this border area, we have a duty to protect them,” said the press service of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, quoting Sereine Mauborgne, chairman of the committee on the democracy, human rights and humanitarian issues. “We simply cannot allow children, women and men to suffer in dire conditions in the woods and be used as pawns in a political game. This clearly constitutes inhuman and degrading treatment.”
The Assembly called on Poland to respect migrants’ right to shelter and to bring cases before the courts. “We call on the Polish authorities to lift the state of emergency in order to allow the delivery of humanitarian and legal assistance to these people,” noted Michael Link, vice-chairman of the human rights committee. “Allowing access for humanitarian organizations and the media would also serve the general public interest of transparency. The state of emergency that was extended until the end of November is not only disproportionate to the situation, it also punishes local communities who rely on transgression. border trade and tourism. “
Kristian Vigenin, who chairs the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly’s ad hoc committee on migration, underlined that everyone has the right to seek asylum, regardless of how they entered the country, and the right to benefit from legal assistance. He stressed that the principle of non-refoulement applies, regardless of migration status or mode of entry. “Ensuring respect for the right to asylum and protecting state borders are not mutually exclusive,” he said. “In the face of the challenges posed by irregular migration, it is important to develop a coordinated policy response with all countries along the migration route to prevent new irregular arrivals rather than penalizing the migrants themselves. “
Since the beginning of August, Poland, Latvia and Lithuania have experienced a spectacular influx of illegal migrants from Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Syria and Yemen from Belarus. To date, at least seven people are believed to have died in the border areas of these countries.