Iraqi refugees - stranded on the Belarusian-Polish border - have been living in tragic conditions for weeks, as thousands of migrants from the Middle East have arrived in Belarus in recent months in the hope of crossing to Poland and leaving for the European Union.

The Iraqi immigrant Ahmed - from the city of Kirkuk and who is currently stuck at the Polish border - says that he left Iraq on October 29 last towards Belarus with a large group of Iraqis, noting that their number is about thousands of people, most of whom are of Iraqi nationality.

And he adds to Al Jazeera Net, saying, "We came by agreement in special groups in the Telegram, and we agreed to gather at a certain border place to reach Poland, so the day before yesterday, Monday (the eighth of November), the Polish border forces began to intimidate the immigrant families, and fired tear gas He hit the kids and scared them.”

Ahmed stressed that the reasons for their emigration from Iraq are the search for a decent life in addition to the country’s conditions and crises, noting that he is a military affiliate who was wounded by the war in his stomach, and lived great suffering due to his treatment expenses and the neglect of government agencies for him, stressing that they do not think of returning to Iraq. They will continue to remain at the borders until entering Europe.

He pointed out that they appealed to the Iraqi government agencies and they were not answered, and the media were not allowed to reach them except from some correspondents of television channels from the Belarusian side.

Regarding the costs of the trip, Ahmed explains that it amounted to about 4 to 5 thousand dollars, which included an entry visa to Belarus, flight, hotel and food expenses, indicating that the flight alone costs 3 thousand and 500 dollars, including a waiting station in a hotel for 3 days and until arrival in Belarus, and all of this is about brokers way.

Iraqis suffer with their children harsh conditions on the Belarusian-Polish border (Al-Jazeera)

bad conditions

Iraqi immigrant Wissam Hussein talks about the suffering of the refugees stranded in their poor conditions, saying that they are going through a deplorable condition without food or drink with a large number of children and women, and they do not find anything to sleep on, which made them sleep on the ground at a temperature as low as 2 degrees below zero.

In his interview with Al Jazeera Net, Hussein sees that the European Union's claims of its interest in humanity and human rights are not consistent with reality, as they ignore the suffering of refugees and treat them in the worst way as if they were criminals and not seeking freedom.

Stranded migrants struggle with the harsh cold at the border between Poland and Belarus (Al-Jazeera)

Regarding the reasons for his emigration, he says, "Life in Iraq is harsh and not safe. We did not find in the country what is suitable for living until we stay and settle there."

Hussein continues, by saying, "After all this suffering in my country, my family of 6 people and I emigrated at an estimated cost of two thousand and 500 dollars per person, after I sold my car, as well as my wife and everything I owned in order to meet the costs, to preserve the life of my family."

Hussein adds, "When I got out of Baghdad, I went directly to Turkey, and then from there I moved to Belarus. During this long journey, I, my wife and my children faced difficult and harsh conditions, as the border guards between Poland and Belarus beat us with several types of weapons used to break up gatherings, and he did not deliver. Even children from these practices in addition to what they suffer from cold, hunger and thirst,” describing himself as dead, and his fate is unknown.

The stranded migrants confirmed that the costs of the trip amounted to about 4 to 5 thousand dollars (Al-Jazeera)

distress calls

For his part, Alaa Al-Iraqi - responsible for the rescue and follow-up of refugees cell - says that they receive daily about 30 to 40 distress calls from various migration routes, whether at sea or land on the Belarusian border, and indicates that 25% of the appeals in recent days are for Iraqi migrants.

Regarding the role of his team, Alaa explains to Al Jazeera Net that they receive appeals from different segments and nationalities, and from boats that go out by sea when support is needed to solve the problems they face, and he says, "We convey their suffering through the media or deliver their voices to some European teams that do not oppose the arrival of immigrants. to there".

He points out that "Belarus is using migrants as a means of pressure on the European Union to lift sanctions, and there are many migrants trapped in the forbidden areas between the two countries for more than 20 days, and we have received more than two thousand appeals during the past two months, as well as photos and videos of the situation of migrants there, and we send them to Organizations, including the Red Cross, have yet to respond."

Jahakir affirmed the Iraqi authorities' rejection of some Iraqis taking this risky way to migrate (Al-Jazeera)

official position

Ali Abbas Jahakir, Director-General of the Branch Affairs Department in the Iraqi Ministry of Immigration, expresses his ministry's rejection of the behavior of some Iraqis on this risky path of migration, stressing the existence of controls and limitations that must be adhered to and observed.

Jahakir explained to Al Jazeera Net that many migrants deal with smugglers and unofficial and unaccredited persons between countries, yet the Iraqi government is following up their situation and condition through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, "but this situation is not resolved and we do not know its outcome."

He notes that the Iraqi government does not know the number of Iraqi immigrants stranded at the Polish border so far, estimating that their numbers do not exceed a thousand immigrants so far.

Jahakir denied that the reason for migration was the bad conditions in Iraq, stressing that the country's conditions are good, but these migrants have their own future plans and are trying to obtain better living opportunities.

Jahakir stresses the Iraqi government's refusal to hit the migrants by the border guards and calls on them to abide by international treaties, stressing that the government sent planes to rescue stranded Iraqis and return them to their homeland, but many of them refused to return.