Urgent Action: PROTECT AFGHANS STRANDED AT POLISH BORDER (Poland: UA 95.21)

September 2, 2021

32 Afghans are stuck at the Polish-Belarus border following pushbacks by Polish authorities to Belarus in August. They have been stranded for weeks without adequate shelter, food, water, and medical care. Polish and Belarusian border guards have kept them in a strip of land at the border, limiting their access to lawyers, humanitarian, and healthcare workers. While the European Court of Human Rights has ordered Poland to provide the group with food, water, clothing and adequate medical health care, Polish authorities have so far failed to comply with this request. Instead of denying asylum-seekers entry and pushing them back to Belarus, Poland must immediately admit them into its territory, allow them to seek protection and urgently provide them with adequate shelter, food, water, and medical care.

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TAKE ACTION:

  1. Please take action as-soon-as possible. This Urgent Action expires on October 28, 2021.
  2. Write a letter in your own words or using the sample below as a guide to one or both government officials listed. You can also email, fax, call or Tweet them.
  3. Click here to let us know the actions you took on Urgent Action 95.21. It’s important to report because we share the total number with the officials we are trying to persuade and the people we are trying to help.
Prime Minister Prezes Rady Ministrów
Mateusz Morawiecki
Kancelaria Prezesa Rady Ministrów,
Al. Ujazdowskie 1/3
00-583 Warszawa
E-mail: [email protected]
Ambassador Piotr Wilczek
Embassy of the Republic of Poland
2640 16th St. NW, Washington DC 20009
Phone: 202 499-1700 I Fax: 202 328-6271
Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PolishEmbassyUS @AmbWilczek
Salutation: Dear Ambassador

Dear Prime Minister,

I am extremely concerned about the situation of 32 asylum-seekers from Afghanistan who are stranded at the Polish-Belarus border. Four women, 27 men and one 15-year-old girl have been stuck at the border for weeks, without adequate shelter, food, water or medical care. Polish border guards have refused them entry into Poland, and violently pushed them to Belarus, without assessing their individual circumstances and protection needs, in breach of international and European Union law standards.

The situation of asylum-seekers is worsening by the day, as Polish authorities have denied access to them by lawyers, humanitarian workers and institutions. Although the European Court of Human Rights has recently requested Polish authorities to urgently provide the group of asylum-seekers with food, water, clothes and adequate health care, your government has failed to fully comply with this court order.

Everyone has the right to seek asylum, a right enshrined in international and European instruments that Poland is bound by. Asylum-seekers should not be pushed back to a country without an adequate individual assessment of their protection needs. They should not be refused access to protection or be penalized because they had to enter a country irregularly.

At a time when Afghans are desperately fleeing Afghanistan and seeking protection elsewhere, I hope you will do the right thing and immediately admit the group of asylum-seekers into Poland, ensure they can apply for international protection, and urgently provide them with adequate food, water, shelter, and medical assistance. I ask you to ensure unhindered access to the group by organizations and lawyers. I urge your government to grant asylum-seekers effective opportunities to seek protection in Poland and refrain from adopting legislation and measures that breach international and EU law.

Sincerely,

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES