IKHRW statement: Iranian Kurds present at the Belarus-Poland border tragedy

IKHRW has been closely monitoring the humanitarian crisis enfolding on the border between Belarus and Poland.

Over the last weeks, thousands of Iraqi Kurds have attempted to travel into the European Union through Belarus. IKHRW has been able to confirm there is a small number of Iranian nationals among the  thousands of migrants marching towards the polish border, stuck in the woods.

IKHRW can confirm that over the last weeks – and even still today – thousands of Iraqi Kurds, and smaller numbers of Syrian and Iranian nationals – have taken flights to Minsk, through Istanbul, Damascus, Dubai and Baku.

Migrants have paid thousands of dollars to clandestine travel agencies to arrange tickets and transfers between their home regions, the transfer-hubs Baku, Istanbul and Dubai, to Belarussian capital Minsk.
The migrants have been promised a completely legal and safe way to enter the European Union without having to apply for family reunion or schengen visas. The often uneducated, impoverished residents of the region have seen this as an opportunity to travel to a region with better economic opportunities.

Last night alone 15 migrants have died from cold and hunger at the Belarussian-Polish border. There are reports of clashes between migrants and police forces, resulting in beatings, shooting and dog bites.

StatIt is not clear yet whether Iranian Kurds are among the deceased.

IKHRW wants to let the Kurdish people of Iran know that :

  1. Promises being made of a legal and safe road to enter the European Union are false.
    It concerns a ploy of illegal immigration smugglers, safety cannot be guaranteed, entry cannot be guaranteed, NGOs are not allowed to provide migrants food, water and supplies.
  2. Immigration to foreign countries should take place through legal procedures such as visa applications. Illegal immigration is dangerous.
  3. Iranian nationals currently stuck in Belarus, whether on the border or in the capital Minsk, should immediately contact the Iranian Islamic Republic consulate in Minks or the ministry of foreign affairs for help. IKHRW discourages Iranian nationals to further attempt to approach the Polish border, as migrants have not been able to cross, and reside in a dangerous situation, wherein food, water and warmth cannot be guaranteed.

IKHRW wants to also request the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Iranian consulate in Minks, Belarus to monitor the situation closely, discourage Iranian nationals from traveling to the Belarussian-Polish border where a humanitarian disaster is about to enfold, and to assist Iranian nationals present in the country to return home safely.

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