Amnesty International: migrants subjected to horrific torture at the hands of Belarusian forces
New evidence gathered by Amnesty International reveals that Asylum-seekers and migrants trying to enter the EU from Belarus are subjected to horrific torture or other ill-treatment, inhumane conditions, extortion and other abuse at the hands of Belarusian forces.
"People at the border find themselves between a rock and a hard place. Stranded in what is effectively an exclusion zone on Belarus’s border with the EU, they face hunger, exposure and shocking levels of brutality from Belarusian forces," the report said.
Amnesty International interviewed a total of 75 people who were lured into Belarus between July and November 2021 by a false promise of easily crossing into the EU. They then experienced pushbacks by EU countries, including Poland. The interviewees included 66 Iraqi nationals, seven Syrian nationals who travelled from Egypt, Lebanon, and Syria, one Lebanese man, and one Sudanese man. With several of those interviewed travelling with family and friends, the testimonies account for a total of 192 affected people.
Amnesty International’s research revealed beatings and other serious torture or other ill-treatment, including people being deprived of food, water, shelter, and sanitation, as well as theft of phones and money or extortion for bribes by members of Belarusian forces.