Poland not providing aid to migrants on border says ombudsman

"The Polish side has not provided aid, claiming that Poland cannot do anything for them as they are under Belarusian jurisdiction," Wiącek said after he had asked Interior Minister Mariusz Kamiński about their situation. Wojciech Olkuśnik/PAP

Poland’s human rights ombudsman has said the Polish state has failed to provide aid to a group of migrants stuck on the Polish-Belarusian border despite an interim ruling by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ordering it to help.

In a ruling made on August 26 the court said Poland should provide the group of about 32 people with food, water and, if possible, temporary accommodation.

But, according to Marcin Wiącek, the ombudsman, this has not happened.

"The Polish side has not provided aid, claiming that Poland cannot do anything for them as they are under Belarusian jurisdiction," Wiącek said after he had asked Interior Minister Mariusz Kamiński about their situation.

Whether the people are refugees or are economic migrants, Wiącek said, can only be determined by putting them through a two-phase asylum procedure.

He added that the situation on the Polish-Belarusian border has led to Poland being charged with violating the European Convention on Human Rights.