Amnesty International study: Poland illegally expels Afghan refugees – JURIST – News


Forensic medicine spatial analysis published by Amnesty International (AI) on Thursday revealed an alleged illegal refoulement of Afghan asylum seekers from Poland at the end of August. The analysis further indicates that the 32 Afghans are currently living in deplorable conditions.

Using photogrammetry and other spatial modeling techniques, AI’s Crisis Evidence Lab analyzed various satellite images and videos to provide a 3D reconstruction of the border between Poland and Belarus. This allowed AI to gain an overview of the makeshift refugee camp, and to follow and monitor its movements.

A three-dimensional correspondence of the photographs allowed analysts to estimate the position of the figures and their subsequent movement. Analysis indicated that the group’s position changed from being partially on both sides of the border on August 18 to being fully shifted to the Belarusian side the next day. Amnesty International believes that this change of movement is strongly indicative of an illegal decline in Poland.

Besides the indication of refoulement, the analysis also revealed inhumane conditions in the makeshift camp. These include the lack of adequate shelter, food, clean water and sanitation facilities. Conditions are further exacerbated by Poland’s active policy emergency state which restricted journalistic and humanitarian access to the area.

Amnesty International called on Poland to respect its obligations under European and international refugee law by carrying out an individual assessment of all asylum claims and by refraining from any illegal return. Amnesty International further urged Poland to end all refoulements and to guarantee access to its territory for those seeking protection. He further called on Poland to end the state of emergency to allow journalists, activists and NGOs access to the region.

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