Africans say Ukrainian authorities stopped them from fleeing

In the years preceding the Russian invasion, Poland had taken a hard line towards migrants trying to enter the country. The army and bor...


In the years preceding the Russian invasion, Poland had taken a hard line towards migrants trying to enter the country. The army and border guards have pushed asylum seekers from the Middle East and Africa back to Belarus. Last week, aid organizations said a 26-year-old man from Yemen froze to death at this border.

Some of the foreigners who arrived in Poland from Ukraine in recent days were exhausted and frozen, according to local aid organizations on the ground. Some were taken straight to the hospital because of their injuries.

Ahmed Habboubi, a 22-year-old Franco-Tunisian medical student, said all foreign nationals, including Africans, Israelis, Canadians and Americans, had to go to a single gate at the Medyka crossing between the Ukraine and Poland, which would only process four people every two hours, while Ukrainians were allowed to pass freely through another gate.

“The Ukrainian army beat me so badly that I couldn’t walk properly,” he said in a phone interview. “When I finally managed to enter Poland, the Polish authorities took me straight to the hospital,” he added.

“It was absolute chaos. We were treated like animals. There are still thousands of people stuck there.

He said Poland warmly welcomed him.

Dennis Nana Appiah Nkansah, a Ghanaian medical student, said he saw the same discrimination when crossing from Ukraine to the Romanian town of Siret – one rule for Ukrainians and another for everyone else. Thousands of foreigners, including Zambians, Namibians, Moroccans, Indians and Pakistanis, were directed to a gate that was mostly closed, while another reserved for Ukrainians was open and people poured in.

For about three hours, four or five foreigners were allowed to leave, as there was a “massive influx” of Ukrainians crossing, he said. “It’s not fair,” he said, but “we understood that they had to take care of their people first.”

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Newsrust - US Top News: Africans say Ukrainian authorities stopped them from fleeing
Africans say Ukrainian authorities stopped them from fleeing
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