Fifth Iraqi refugee in one week dies on border of Poland and Belarus
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Polish border guards announced on Friday that an Iraqi refugee died on the border of Belarus while trying to cross into Poland and Lithuania and another was hospitalized after contracting the coronavirus.
A statement explained that a male Iraqi national was hospitalized after contracting coronavirus and that the fifth Iraqi migrant this week had died of an apparent heart attack despite efforts to rescue him. Polish officials attributed the previous deaths to cold and exhaustion, according to Associated Press.
The Polish border patrol posted on its official Twitter account that "last night, a group of immigrants from Iraq was detained 500 meters from the border with Belarus. One of the men, despite having been resuscitated by a patrol and an ambulance team, has died."
The man was the fifth person to die on the border between the two countries since Monday.
Multiple migrants, mostly from Iraq and Afghanistan, are trying to reach the European Union through Belarus. Two United Nations agencies have requested access to asylum-seekers stranded at Belarus’s border with Poland and Lithuania. EU Commissioner for Home Affairs, Ylva Johansson, and other officials are planning a visit soon to assess the situation at the border.
According to Polish border police, there have been at least 5,000 attempts to cross the border since the start of September.
The Polish government insists that its main task is to guard the border and protect it from the flow of migrants and accuses the Belarusian government of "facilitating their flow in retaliation for the European sanctions imposed against Minsk recently."