Aching for asylum in EU: Migrants from Chechnya stuck at Belarus-Poland border

The citizens of Russia’s Chechnya and Dagestan state they are fleeing to the West from oppression, poverty and repressions. Belarus has become a transit country on the route to democratic states. Which country or authority is to solve the migrants’ problems?

“They may come to anyone and shoot them down on the spot, and neither the police nor the FSB is able to help. Any person may be sold or bought for money in our country,” Patima Saidova, a former resident of Dagestan, told Belsat.

Brest, a city at the Belarusian-Polish border, is now witnessing a real human drama. About a hundred Chechens and other people of North Caucasian descent who were denied asylum in Poland held a protest action not far from a checkpoint.

“We are very tired. We are hungry and cold, our kids are sick. What can we do in this situation? They were driving us away [from our native country] – we escaped. Now we are staying here – and we are being driven away from here. They [border guards] tell us they will let only two or three people [enter Poland],” the woman says.

It is the 27th time Patima is trying to pass the border and seek political asylum.

“We are taken back and forth, like sheep. We have to spend BYN 60 a day. Can you imagine it? “

According to Poland’s statistical data, over the past year the number of migrants from Chechnya, which is part of Russia, has doubled. During the first five months of 2016, nearly 4,000 Chechens applied for asylum in Poland at the border crossing point Terespol. For the same period last year, there were less than 2,000 applicants.

Some of those who were repeatedly denied entry to Poland are trying to get to Europe through Ukraine. Others prefer to remain in Brest and make another attempt.

“The border guards are responsible for the acceptance of foreigners’ applications for international protection. A final decision is made by the head of foreign affairs department. Taking into account the current situation in Europe, border guards check people entering the territory of Poland in a very meticulous way. it is important to bear in mind that the Polish border is the eastern border of the European Union. We let people in the EU; that is why great responsibility rests with us, border guards,” Agnieszka Golias, Spokeswoman for the Head Department of the Border Service of Poland.

About 2,500 Chechens who have been trying to get into the European Union are reportedly staying in Brest at the moment. According to the Belarusian side, they do not violate any laws, because they have the right to be in our country as citizens of the Union State.

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