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HFHR addresses situation at eastern border crossings

According to accounts provided to the Foundation by foreigners who seek international protection in Poland, it has been weeks since the Border Guard started to refuse entrance to many asylum seekers. The HFHR has sent an appeal to more than twenty international refugee rights organisations.

“The situation of refugees from Tajikistan is particularly troubling. Over the recent weeks, the majority of Tajikistani asylum seekers have been refused entry to Poland at the border crossing in Terespol/Brest”, the HFHR’s expert Marta Szczepanik says. “We must remember that over the last year the situation in Tajikistan has deteriorated rapidly. According to reports of international organisations, Tajikistani dissidents returning to their home country from abroad may become victims of torture”, Ms Szczepanik explains. Tajikistani migrants cannot feel safe in Belarus, either, because this country has signed an extradition treaty with Tajikistan.

In its appeal, the HFHR notes the provisions of the Geneva Convention relating to the Status of Refugees that prohibit the refoulment and expulsion of a person expressing the fear of persecution before considering the case of the person in question.

The Helsinki Foundation asks the international organisations to place under scrutiny Polish authorities’ performance of the obligation to afford the right to access international protection to individuals at the country’s eastern border.

To view the HFHR’s appeal, use this link.

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