The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) yesterday sentenced Poland in two separate cases of expulsion of Chechen asylum seekers at the border with Belarus.
The court upheld a family of seven Russians from Chechnya who showed up 16 times at the Polish-Belarusian border.
Polish border guards refused asylum applications from a couple, their four minor children and one of their grandmothers and sent them back to Belarus, “at the risk of being sent back to Chechnya and being mistreated” , considered the ECtHR.
The applicants had warned of the “degrading” nature of the treatment inflicted by the Polish authorities and recalled the ban on collective expulsions of foreigners enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights.
Poland was ordered to pay 28,000 euros for material and moral damages.
The court also ordered Warsaw to pay 30,000 euros to six other Chechen asylum seekers in a similar case, in which a family with three minor children seeking international protection in Poland was rejected 33 times.
The Polish border guards had also ignored an interim measure adopted by the court, asking the Polish government to “defer their expulsion to Belarus”.
Since the summer of 2021, thousands of migrants, mainly from the Middle East, and in particular from Iraq, have crossed or attempted to cross, via Belarus, the eastern border of the European Union (EU), into Latvia, Lithuania or Poland.
Poland and Western countries have accused the Belarusian regime of encouraging and even orchestrating this migration crisis, promising easy entry into the EU, an argument that Minsk denies.
At the height of the crisis, Poland created a closed zone on the border in early September, including for humanitarian non-governmental organizations and the media, laying barbed wire and sending thousands of soldiers to the scene.
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