Are You Syrious?
A man from Syria, treated for a dislocated leg, was pushed back from hospital to the forest at night.
The man was taken by ambulance on the afternoon of 1st October and treated at Heinowski hospital. The volunteer who represented both the Egala Association and Grupa Granica went to the hospital to provide legal support in an attempt to prevent the exact events which later occurred.
After gaining consent from the man to have power of attorney, the volunteer presented all the relevant paperwork to the border authorities by email and attempted to make contact by phone. By 6 pm on the same day, the man had been deported back to the Belarusian forest.
“The man was in dirty and drenched clothes at the hospital. I don’t think he has been able to put his shoe on the injured foot. With injuries like this, it is very painful and the bandage makes the shoe too small. I don’t know if the Border Guard officers donated painkillers. Not sure if the man got any dry clothes, food and water. I know he hasn’t eaten or drunk in days.” – Egala Association Volunteer
Despite the beginnings of construction of a fence between Poland and Belarus, people haven’t stopped attempting to travel that way. No Borders Team and Foundacja Ocalenie give detailed reports of groups continuing to need assistance during steadily colder and more challenging conditions, which will put pressure on the volunteers and their resources.
We provide help not only in the forest, but also support refugees placed in Protected Centers for Foreigners (SOCs). We encourage you to read a part of the conversation of one of the people working in the Association Egala and the Granica Group with M., a journalist with refugee experience from Iraq.
Q: How much time did you spend in the Polish forest before you got to the Protected Foreigners Center?
M: 30 Days Ago I haven’t eaten anything in so long. A lot has happened in these 9 months. A lot of bad stuff After being arrested I was transported to camp. For 15 days I couldn’t talk to my family and say I was healthy. For many months I ate pasta by myself. We were often hungry, we went to bed hungry. But that’s not the biggest problem, after all we don’t starve to death. Inhuman treatment is the worst. The worst when the difficult days and nights come.
O: I would like to answer you something smart, but I have no words.
M: Many nights at SOC are quiet and eerie. Your heart is broken that can’t hold you back. You can’t sleep in peace. Your mind is constantly preoccupied and afraid. You feel like a child waiting for their father to come back from war, who doesn’t know that the father died. We are all waiting for the light of freedom.
O: We, on the other side, have been working for you for almost a year. We’re doing our best to help..
M: Excellent, you are heroes. I’m a journalist and I’ll describe it all when I get out of here.
O: I’d love to share your experiences too.
M: I’ve been locked up in the camp for 9 months. I still don’t know what’s going to happen to me. Either I will go back to the country where killing people is a daily thing or I will be free here. Iraq does not consider me a citizen. I am an outcast. There are daily clashes between Turkey and Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) there. I am 26 years old. Never knew the taste of happiness until now I wish I was dead already Tired of being treated inhuman.
O: You need to be strong. Another deportation has been prevented. Some get to Freedom . Not gonna pretend that it’s fine though. This is very bad.
M: Sometimes, when I see people in normal clothes living their lives, it makes me even more aware that I am a prisoner and not entitled to freedom. Brought a flower here and cut the stem off a bit. With every cut I said I’d be free soon. But eventually the flower was gone and I’m still here. Birds and animals are more precious here than human souls. Sometimes I wish I could just go into the woods. I’m overwhelmed with despair. Then I think maybe it would be easier if they just killed us all here. Since they won’t give us our freedom back.
Image by Egala Association