On Thursday, the Polish parliament held a. Voted invoice for a border wall with Belarus, a major escalation in the recent migrant dispute with his neighbor. Poland has accused Belarus of allowing Middle Eastern migrants to transit through the country and enter Poland in revenge for EU sanctions imposed on Belarus earlier this year.
Polish Bill No. 1657 authorized the wall in the name of state border security and authorizes the Polish Minister of the Interior to start building boundary areas, if necessary, acquired through the acquisition and purchase of private land. The bill outlines plans for the wall that include a physical barrier, border security devices and infrastructure, and electronic and telecommunications security measures within 200 meters of the Polish-Belarusian border. The bill also authorizes the Polish government to expel asylum seekers who entered Poland outside of the legal routes.
The draft law comprehensively justifies the ban by stating that Poland has experienced increasing migratory pressure through almost 10,000 attempts to cross the Polish-Belarusian border in 2021 alone, with foreigners from Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Russia, Somalia, Tajikistan, Iran and Turkey. The bill further claims that the Belarusian state supports and subsidizes these trips with the aim of destabilizing the border of the Republic of Poland and the European Union in general, and that the circumstances create both a state of emergency and the immediate construction of a barrier.
Poland went under criticism by international groups this year for unilaterally denying migrants entry from Belarus and denying them the opportunity to apply for asylum in Poland while waiting at the border. Both the EU Charter the fundamental and the universal Explanation of human rights guarantees all people the right to asylum and prohibits collective expulsions. Full implementation of Thursday’s bill is expected to violate these agreements and could result in legitimate asylum applications for Poles being rejected without recourse.