WARSAW, Aug. 25 (Reuters) – A Polish refugee charity said on Wednesday 25 migrants camped at the Polish-Belarusian border were sick, including a mother of five who would soon die without help from the authorities.
The Ocalenie Foundation claims that the refusal of the Polish border guards to let anyone on the Polish side deliver food or medicine to the group of 32 people, who have been on the Belarusian side of the border for about two weeks, puts lives at risk. . He said 12 were seriously ill.
Polish opposition MP Franciszek Sterczewski was caught on camera trying to pass border guards with a bag he said contained food and medicine before being thrown to the ground.
The migrant group found itself embroiled in a larger dispute between the European Union and Belarus.
The European Union accuses Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko of having orchestrated the arrival of thousands of people to the borders of Lithuania, Latvia and Poland in retaliation for the sanctions imposed on the former Soviet republic.
The Belarusian Foreign Ministry on Tuesday accused Poland of causing flows of migrants from Afghanistan as part of the US coalition, according to the official Belta news agency. He blamed the breakdown of border cooperation on the EU.
Poland, which this week announced it would build a fence at the border and double the number of troops there to stop the flow, said responsibility for the migrants lies with Belarus.
Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on Wednesday that a humanitarian aid convoy offered by Poland had been refused by Minsk. His deputy foreign minister said Belarusian authorities were providing migrants with water, food and cigarettes.
Belarusian authorities were not immediately available for comment.
The Ocalenie Foundation, which communicates with migrants remotely using a translator with a megaphone, said they were desperate.
“They don’t have clean water. They haven’t eaten anything since yesterday,” he said.
“Mrs. Gul, fifty-two, will soon die in front of her five children. Relief is needed NOW,” he said on Twitter.
He said the woman was from Afghanistan and had two sons and three daughters with her, the youngest of whom was 15 years old. He declined to provide more details, but said the other migrants were also from Afghanistan.
Polish border guards said on Friday that they had asked Belarusian authorities three times to intervene with the group and that Belarus said it was doing so.
“We don’t know what the state of health of these people is,” border guard spokeswoman Anna Michalska said. Reuters has not been able to independently verify the health status of the migrants.
Reporting by Alan Charlish and Pawel Florkiewicz; Additional reporting by Pavel Polityuk and Matthias Williams; Editing by Alison Williams
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