human rights defenders face harassment at poland belarus border
On Tuesday, the United Nations experts who are working independently on ground expressed deep concerns over their safety after reports about them being threatened at the border came into view. Them along with media workers and interpreters are facing the wrath of officials.
Mary Lawlor, who has closely been observing the situation as a Special Rapporteur said, “I am receiving several reports of harassment from human rights defenders who assist migrants and document human rights violations against them.”
The report claimed that a volunteer interpreter Jakub Sypiański had to face a terrible situation when all he was trying was to help migrants and asylum-seekers. As they were moving towards their destination, they were stopped by armed soldiers. The incident took place last year in November.
The soldiers did not identify themselves nor did they claim anything. They did not even explain the reason why they were stopping them from moving towards the shelter homes. They forced them out of the car and pulled Sypiański by leg to come out of the car and talk to them. Lawlor stressed that interpreters’ role is extremely vital as most do not speak either of the languages creating difficulty in spreading information. They are also important to ensure that both the immigrants as well as human rights defenders are safe in these areas.