Posted on Sunday, October 17, 2021 | 9:33
Updated 5 hours, 10 minutes ago
WARSAW, Poland (AP) – Thousands of protesters marched through two Polish cities on Sunday in solidarity with migrants and asylum seekers at the Polish-Belarusian border who were turned away by Polish authorities.
Several thousand people marched in Warsaw and others demonstrated in Krakow under the slogan âStop torture at the borderâ. to go there to help people.
âHow many bodies are lying in the forest? read a sign in Warsaw, referring to several deaths in the forests and swamps of the border region.
Many carried emergency foil flags, a reference to the blankets migrants trapped outside at the border need now as temperatures drop to freezing at night.
For about two months, a large number of people from the Middle East and Africa have tried to enter Poland illegally from Belarus. The Polish authorities reacted strongly. They accused Belarus and Russia of encouraging migration to trigger instability across the EU, calling it a âhybrid warâ.
Many Poles were moved by images of families with young children who had arrived in Poland and were then sent back across the border to Belarus.
“What our government is doing is a shame,” said Dorota Moran, a 39-year-old preschool therapist for autistic children who marched through Warsaw with two of her three children. âWe are in the European Union and should seek support from the European Union. But above all, we must be human and protect families and children. ”
Another protester, Marcin Kacprzak, came from the town of Plock to protest.
“We are horrified by what is happening on our eastern border,” said the 45-year-old, carrying a sign reading “Love your neighbor”.
“We see the people and their suffering,” he said. “We are not looking at the color of their skin, their race or their religion.”
The marchers passed the Polish parliament, which approved the state of emergency and also passed legislation allowing for the arbitrary rejection of migrants’ asylum claims. The UN refugee agency said the legislation “violates the fundamental right to seek asylum set out in international and European law.”
Follow all of AP’s stories on global migration at https://apnews.com/hub/migration.