Close this search box.

Disturbing reports of discrimination on Polish-Ukrainian border

On Sunday 20 March, a protest will take place in The Hague to draw attention to equal treatment for all those fleeing Ukraine because of the Russian invasion. Several disturbing reports of discrimination at the Ukrainian-Polish border, with segregation taking place between refugees, emerged over the past week.

"Black and Asian students were beaten

Reports came in from Indian, South African and Moroccan students, among others, that they were refused entry at the border, or had to wait very long compared to Ukrainian refugees. ''They let in 30 Indians after letting in 500 Ukrainians. You have to walk four to five kilometres from the first checkpoint to the second. Ukrainians get buses and taxis, all other nationalities have to walk. They were extremely racist against Indians and other nationalities'', said a 22-year-old student from Mumbai.

There are also several eyewitness accounts of excessive violence against foreign students at the border. A 25-year-old student from Morocco told that ''black and Asian students were beaten and put together. Anyone who walked out of the group was beaten. It was only students of this ethnicity. Ukrainians could walk through in minutes.''

African countries condemn discrimination

Several African countries have condemned discrimination against African citizens at the UN Security Council. The commissioner of the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) responds that the events are known to the organisation and that ''there should be no discrimination at this critical moment''. In a statement from the Ukrainian foreign ministry, the reports dismissed as ''Russian disinformation''.

Human rights violations

While one and a half million people are currently fleeing Ukraine from the relentless violence associated with the Russian invasion, it is crucial that everyone has the opportunity to be able to flee to a place of safety. Selecting refugees based on colour or origin is a clear violation of human rights and this is unacceptable. This therefore deserves attention.

Protest 20 March

The protest is organised by SV Marula and will take place on Sunday 20 March, between 12:00 and 14:00. For more information, see the facebook page From SV Marula.

Sources: Financial Times EuroNews Al Jazeera Open Democracy