MINSK, 28 December (BelTA) – All in all, 140 people were recognized as victims of the atrocities committed by the Polish security forces at the Belarus-Poland border. Materials of the criminal investigation will be forwarded to all international organizations, including the UN and the Council of Europe. This information was published by the SB. Belarus Segodnya newspaper, BelTA informs.
On 17 November the Investigative Committee of Belarus launched a criminal investigation under Article 128 of the Criminal Code “Crimes against peace”. “Five volumes of the criminal case documented facts that took place on 8-16 November, including deportations, torture and acts of cruelty against people trying to get to Germany,” the newspaper reports.
According to Konstantin Bespalenkov who is responsible for overseeing the implementation of legislation by the Instigative Committee at the Prosecutor General's Office, “the materials documented the mounting of additional barriers by the Polish security forces, deployment of paramilitary armed patrols and cordons, and the use of aircraft in the immediate vicinity of the refugee camp on the Belarusian side and in the neutral zone near the border. The materials emphasized that the refugees were unarmed and publicly declared their status, goals and plans to get to Germany, which the Poles were well aware of”.
The criminal investigation also mentioned the use of chemicals on the border by Polish security forces on 16 November. “The casings of stun grenades, soil and vegetation samples, outerwear, equipment of journalists and a baby cradle were collected and examined. Potent toxic substances were found, including deltamethrin, which is an insecticide, capsaicin, a colorless crystalline causing a burning sensation, camphor, colorless volatile crystals that are dangerous to humans when taken orally. At least 30 people reported burns and poisoning caused by these chemicals,” the newspaper reads.
Konstantin Bespalenkov mentioned other incidents as well. On 29 October three Syrian citizens who have a residence permit in Germany were denied medical assistance and pushed back from Poland into Belarus near the Tokari border outpost, Kamenets District. Three Iraqi citizens were also pushed back from Poland. One of them was carrying a body of his brother who had diabetes and died due to the refusal of the Polish police to provide insulin.
Another Iraqi citizen was also on the Polish territory when his legs failed. He asked the border guards to help him, but the Poles kicked the man out of the country. On 24 October, the man died of hypothermia. His body was found in the border area near the village of Podlipki, Grodno District.
All in all, the victims include 130 Iraqi citizens - 28 women, 22 children, including 17 children under 14. There are also victims from Syria, Egypt and other countries. In addition, four Belarusian and foreign journalists, Belarusian border guards were injured.
The investigation continues, Konstantin Bespalenkov said. Every criminal act by Polish officials, including that on the territory of Belarus, is reported and documented. Measures are being taken to identify each official who has committed crimes against defenseless people.