With no access to aid, shelter or basic humanitarian services, 300 Kurdish migrants are among the thousands of migrants who have been trapped in a forest between Belarus and Poland, according to Roj News.
As Poland refused entry and Belarus did not permit their return, three Kurdish migrants have died of starvation trying to cross the border, Roj News reported.
Refugees from Africa, Turkey, Kurdistan and many Middle Eastern countries who had entered Poland from Belarus on Saturday night were sent back to the military zone in Belarus in the late hours.
It was reported that Geylan Dilêr İsmil, a Kurdish man in his twenties who fled from Sulaymaniyah, Iraqi Kurdistan was among those forcibly sent to the military zone.
İsmil died of starvation and hypothermia, according to Roj News.
On a video circulating on Twitter, a Yazidi woman tells of their circumstances on Poland-Belarus border:
“One person died here today,” she said.
“There is no food, no water. Our children are crying for food. We have suffered for 10 days here. Belarus and Poland police push us back.”
Kurdish asylum seekers have been waiting for two weeks with hardly any food or water.
The Guardian on Sunday reported the story of a group of seven Iraqi Kurds from Duhok, an eight-month-old girl and a two-year-old boy among them, on the outskirts of the Białowieża forest – which bestrides the border between south-east Poland and Belarus .
28-year-old Amila Abedelkader, the mother of the children, told The Guardian that the group was lured to Belarus by a travel agency that would arrange travel by plane from Istanbul to Minsk, and access to the Polish border and they were charged €15,000-€20,000 when they reached Belarus.
At least 10 migrants had already died attempting the same passage, RFE/RL reported.
Poland’s border with Belarus is now a humanitarian time bomb ticking on the EU’s eastern edge, according to RFE/RL, which reports that thousands of asylum seekers have flown to Belarus in recent months, encouraged by expedited visa processing and growing numbers of daily flights from countries such as Yemen, Iraq, Somalia, Afghanistan, and Cameroon. Though the vast majority continue towards Poland, many have sought entry into neighboring Latvia and Lithuania, also EU members.
Whilst essential needs such as food and water are not provided to the migrants and the children along with them, who have been held in the restricted zone for two weeks, non-governmental organisations are not allowed to reach the migrants humanitarian aid.
The Polish and Lithuanian governments had declared a state of emergency on the 1-kilometre-wide road lanes along the Belarusian border, which only allow access to border guards, military and security services.