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Thursday, 5 May 2022 - Strasbourg Provisional edition

Building of a wall on the Polish – Belarus border in the Białowieża primeval forest (debate)

  Mick Wallace (The Left). – Madam President, during the first months of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Polish Government opened its borders to two million Ukrainian refugees. For this generosity and openness, they should be commended. Yet 100 kilometres to the north, the same government is building a wall made of steel, concrete and razor wire, 186 kilometres long, more than five metres high, all to stop refugees from crossing the Polish border with Belarus.

These people are also fleeing war zones – from Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Ethiopia. What’s the difference between these and the tens of thousands of Ukrainians coming to Poland every day?

According to the Polish Government, these refugees pose a threat to national and EU security. More than 20 of them have died of cold, starvation or whatever, in this Polish forest. Instead of helping these people, President van der Leyen wants to send them back to the war zones from which they have fled. Where’s our care about human rights when it comes to other nationalities? What’s wrong with us?

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