Znajdź nas na Facebooku

Poland violates European Law. The Association for Legal Intervention files a complaint to the European Commission.

The Association of Legal Intervention , a civil society organisation whose statutory objective is to take steps aimed at ensuring that human rights are respected and that no individual is treated unequally, disregard of their nationality, ethnicity, religion  and migration status, has filed a formal complaint to the European Commission against Poland's violation of European Union law in connection with inhuman treatment of refugees, degrading conditions in guarded centres for foreigners and illegal push-backs of refugees on the Polish-Belarusian border.

The Association of Legal Intervention lodged complaints with the Court on behalf of two refugees from Afghanistan. In August 2021, despite oral applications for international protection (refugee status), they were illegally deported to the strict nature reserve of the Białowieża Primeval Forest in the middle of the night, spending the night there without proper clothing, food, drinking water, shelter, and medical care.
The men were finally allowed into Poland and placed in three subsequent guarded centres for foreigners (The Foreigners Registration Centre in Dubicze Cerkiewne, the Guarded Centre for Foreigners in Kętrzyn and the Temporary Guarded Centre for Foreigners in Wędrzyn). 

The conditions in the centres where refugees are placed are degrading and inhumane, particularly in the Wędrzyn Centre, as had already been pointed out by the Ombudsman. Refugees are given less personal space than prisoners. The centres are often dirty and the sanitary conditions are poor and access to a doctor or psychologist often exists only in theory. The Ombudsman also had a number of reservations regarding the conditions in the Guarded Centre in Kętrzyn.

In the submitted complaint, the Association of Legal Intervention alleged a breach by Poland of:

-    the  prohibition of collective push-backs,
-    the prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment and the right to life in connection with the deportation of refugees in the middle of the night to the Białowieża Forest, denying them their basic needs as shelter, medical assistance, access to drinking water and food
-    the obligation to provide an effective remedy, because Poland does not provide a legal path to appeal against an illegal push-back,
-     the prohibition of arbitrary detention and the prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment, as the conditions in guarded centres are unsuitable for refugees.

The case is waiting to be communicated to the European Court of Human Rights.