#Belarus manufactured this situation, but #Poland shares responsibility for the suffering. Men, women & children ping-ponged at the border for weeks in the cold, desperately needing humanitarian aid that’s being blocked on BOTH sides.

New @hrw report: hrw.org/news/2021/11/2…
On the #Belarus side, accounts of violence, inhuman and degrading treatment and coercion by Belarusian border guards are commonplace.

So, why are #Polish border guards pushing people back into Belarus, even when they’re pleading for asylum?
Trapped on the #Belarus side, stranded or lost on the #Poland side, people told @hrw harrowing stories of trudging through forests, swamps, marshlands, and rivers in freezing temperatures for days and even weeks without food or water.
At least 13 people have died as a result of the inhumane conditions maintained by #Belarus and #Poland, including a 1-year-old boy.
People also told us that #Poland’s border guards separated their families, including parents from their children.
A Syrian woman whom #Poland border guards decided needed medical care was separated from her 5-year-old son, who, together with other family members, was pushed back to #Belarus. Still in Poland, she had no contact with her family since being separated from them.
Following #Polish pushbacks, interviewees said, #Belarusborder guards detained and abused them in “collection sites,” open spaces where migrants were gathered and trapped, without food, water, or shelter and prevented from going back to Minsk or their own countries.
Until November 18, thousands on the #Belarus side were sleeping in a makeshift camp at Bruzgi. Belarus authorities have dismantled the camp & reportedly accommodated some in a warehouse, although the situation & whereabouts of those who were in the makeshift camp is unknown.
#Belarus & #Poland authorities have an obligation to prevent further deaths by allowing aid in. BOTH countries should halt ping-pong pushbacks & allow independent observers, including media & human rights workers, access to currently restricted border areas.
In response to a letter from Human Rights Watch, #Polish authorities denied that they engaged in pushbacks, separating families, or refusing to consider asylum claims.

#Belarusian authorities have not responded to a request from Human Rights Watch to comment on the findings.
#Belarus may have orchestrated the crisis but that doesn’t absolve #Poland and EU institutions of their human rights obligations. Brussels should push Warsaw to put preservation of human life at the core of its response.” - @LydsG

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More from @astroehlein

25 Nov
Will #Germany's new coalition government break with the country's failed, deadly policy of blocking wider production of Covid vaccines globally?

Germany has been central the disastrous EU position on this.

We need more vaccine doses. We need more production. Stop blocking it! Image
For over a year, the EU (led by Germany in this) has blocked the waiving of intellectual property rules for Covid-19 vaccines & other health products at the World Trade Organization.
Merkel stood in the way of the waiver, making it harder for the world’s poor to swiftly get vaccines, treatments & testing kits.

She's not the only one who's been blocking it, but she's been very central to this deadly policy.
Read 12 tweets
24 Nov
Covid deaths are increasing the fastest in countries with the lowest vaccination rates.

Why are the EU, UK and a few others DELIBERATELY BLOCKING wider production of vaccines globally?

#PeoplesVaccine please!

New @TheIndPanel report: …the-independent-panel.pantheonsite.io/wp-content/upl…
✅ EU leaders know vaccines work. Good.

✅ EU leaders keep reminding us that vaccines work. Good.

⁉️ So, why are EU leaders DELIBERATELY BLOCKING wider production of vaccines globally?
This is no way to deal with a GLOBAL pandemic...
Read 6 tweets
23 Nov
And in other news, the EU is blocking wider production of vaccines globally, so billions of people don’t even have that first option…

nytimes.com/2021/11/22/wor… Image
It’s not just the EU. A handful of other high-income countries that were lobbied by powerful pharmaceutical companies have stalled a proposal to temporarily waive global trade and intellectual property rules to expand access to lifesaving vaccines and other health care products.
Governments funding Covid-19 vaccine development with public money failed to condition these funds on affordability and sharing technology, leaving companies to decide how, when, and where they will manufacture, distribute, and price vaccines.
Read 11 tweets
21 Nov
What the government of #Poland and their EU backers pretend not to understand…
1️⃣ They are human.

2️⃣ They have rights.

3️⃣ Laws exist to cover these situations.

4️⃣ #Poland is breaking the law.

5️⃣ The EU is complicit in the abuses.
You can highlight the crimes and abuses of the #Belarus dictatorship as much as you want, but that doesn't change any of those 5 points.

In fact, those crimes and abuses only highlight the reasons why #Poland shouldn't be pushing people back there.
Read 6 tweets
19 Nov
"Although the situation is the result of the reprehensible actions by #Belarus, this does not absolve #Poland from its human rights obligations. An approach must be found that puts human beings first & ensures respect for their dignity & human rights."
coe.int/en/web/commiss… Image
Everyone looking at #Poland-#Belarus right now should read in full the statement from the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, @Dunja_Mijatovic...

...this part in particular, on Poland's failure to uphold its obligations, which is getting far too little attention: Image
Also, the Commissioner stresses that dealing with the current situation should not just fall on #Poland’s shoulders.

“This is a European issue which requires a human rights-centred response based on solidarity and European values and standards.”
Read 4 tweets
19 Nov
Bad Eggs and Ham(-Fisted Policy)
By dr sEUss

- -

Would you save them in a boat?
Would you rescue lives afloat?

We will not save them in a boat.
We will not save those lives afloat.
Would you save lives in a wood?
Would you, would you, if you could?

Not in a wood. No, that is no good.
Not on a bus, not from Belarus.
Not on the beach, not on the sand.
Not down in Greece, not up in Poland.
What then do you fear?
A thousand there, a hundred here?
These are such small numbers.
You risk looking like a big bunch of dumb bumblers.
Over twenty score million, that’s how big we are.
They’re a drop in the bucket. No problem, by far.
Read 14 tweets

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