Motion submitted to Euro court on foreigners on border with Belarus

The government argues that allowing the migrants to enter Polish territory would encourage further illegal migration and would also play into the hands of Alexander Lukashenko's regime. Artur Reszko/PAP

Attorneys for 32 foreigners trapped in an area between the Polish and Belarusian borders have applied to the European Court of Human Rights for it to grant them protection under international law and to demand that the Polish authorities provide them with food and medical assistance.

The plight of the foreigners has become the centre of a dispute between Belarus and Poland, with the Polish government claiming that they have been dumped on the border by the Belarusian authorities in an attempt to destabilise the country.

Grzegorz Kukowka, one of the attorneys told PAP: "In the application, we insist that these people be transported to a safe detention centre for foreigners and that they be granted international protection.

"Above all, however, we demand that the Tribunal obliges Poland to allow medical assistance to reach these people and to provide them with food and water. This is absolutely crucial," he added.

He also said that the motion required urgent consideration out of fear for the health and lives of the people om the border.

According to information from the Polish Border Guard on Monday, the group currently consists of 24 people.

Poland's government has been criticized by human rights advocates over its treatment of the migrants, who have been trapped for over two weeks in the open between Polish and Belarusian border guards near the village of Usnarz Gorny in north-eastern Poland.

The government argues that allowing the migrants to enter Polish territory would encourage further illegal migration and would also play into the hands of Alexander Lukashenko's regime.

Welcome to The First News weekly newsletter

Every Friday catch up on our editor’s top pick of news about Poland, including politics, business, life and culture. To receive your free email subscription, sign up today.