WARSAW (Reuters) – A group of migrants rioted in a detention center in western Poland on Thursday, demanding better conditions or a transfer to Germany or Iraq, the deputy minister said on Friday of the Interior Maciej Wasik.
Thousands of migrants are stranded at the European Union’s eastern border, in what the EU says is a crisis in Minsk conceived by distributing Belarusian visas in the Middle East, flying them and pushing across the border , an accusation denied by Belarus.
Poland has pushed back those attempting to cross Belarus and some of those who did are being held in detention centers like Wedrzyn where they are awaiting a decision on their permission to stay in Poland.
“Yesterday there was what I think should be called a rebellion. A group of more than 100 migrants began to demolish the buildings in which they live, smashing windows, tearing bars, destroying … equipment, stools, bedding, beds, demanding either freedom or better conditions, a transition to Germany or deportation to Iraq, “Wasik told state radio.
Wasik said around 600 people were in the center and many joined the group, but the situation was quickly brought under control by police and border guards.
Stanislaw Zaryn, spokesman for Polish special services, said in a separate radio interview that most of the men are from Iraq and want to travel to Western Europe, mainly Germany.
Polish border guards said on Friday that 217 people attempted to cross the Polish border illegally from Belarus on Thursday.
(Reporting by Pawel Florkiewicz and Anna Wlodarczak-Semczuk; editing by Tomasz Janowski)