Polish Authorities Detain Activists Allegedly Transporting Migrants Across the Belarusian Border

At least four activists were arrested in Poland on March 23 for assisting refugees to cross the Belarusian border and are being held in pre-trial detention for three months.

According to prosecutor Jan Andrejczuk of the regional prosecution office in Hajnówka, in eastern Poland, the activists were arrested on suspicion of unlawfully smuggling individuals across the border, a crime punishable by up to eight years in jail.

“When they helped refugees from Ukraine they were heroes, now for providing that same help in Podlasie, they are criminals,” expressed Grupa Granica, a migrant and refugee organization to which the imprisoned activists belong.

Grupa Granica denied that its activists helped migrants cross the border, claiming that they only assisted a family who had already entered Poland.

“The family had been in the forest for many days, without water, food, or shelter. The activists saved their lives by providing transport in their cars,” said Grupa Granica.

Grupa Granica also explained that the refugee situation on the Polish-Belarusian border, which Belarus’ president Alexander Lukashenko orchestrated, has intensified in recent days, with all migrants sheltering in a camp in Bruzgi, Belarus, being ejected.

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