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, with barely any food, water, adequate shelter, 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 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 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.