โ€œGo back to Minsk! Poland recently sent tens of thousands of text messages to migrants along its border with Belarus to deter them from entering its territory.

“The Polish border is closed,” reads the message written in English. โ€œThe BLR (Belarusian) authorities lied to you. Return to Minsk! According to the Interior Ministry, nearly 31,000 messages were sent on Tuesday to phones along the border.

An ongoing humanitarian crisis

The text messages also contained a link to a site in English, French, Arabic, Russian and Polish warning migrants that crossing the border “can lead to jail”. “The deterioration of weather conditions can endanger your life and your health,” the site also indicates. “Any attempt to hide and sleep irregularly [dehors] can end tragically. “

Poland recently deployed thousands of soldiers on the 400 km border, built a barbed wire fence and declared a state of emergency which prohibited the press and associations from approaching it. NGOs evoke a humanitarian crisis in the face of falling temperatures and ask for access to provide medical assistance.

Since the beginning of August, 8,200 migrants have been prevented from entering Poland according to the government. 1,200 made it through and were taken into custody. Border guards said they intercepted 473 entry attempts on Tuesday – a new daily record. Poland accuses Russia and Belarus of being at the origin of this wave of illegal immigration at its land border.

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