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23 November 2021, 12:05

Belarus wants WHO to discuss Poland's mistreatment of refugees

MINSK, 23 November (BelTA) – Belarus is going to initiate the discussion of the flagrant mistreatment of refugees by Poland at an extraordinary meeting of the WHO Executive Board, Belarus' Deputy Prime Minister Igor Petrishenko said as he met with WHO Regional Director for Europe Hans Kluge, BelTA has learned.

“We suggest that an extraordinary meeting of the WHO Executive Board should discuss facts of flagrant abuse of refugees by Poland when Polish forces unleashed water cannons with toxic substances on people in frosty weather on the territory of our country. These people did not cross the border of Poland although its water cannons doused both women and children. We will document and submit this information to you so that you will consider, within your mandate, the mistreatment of refugees by the security forces of Poland and maybe other countries of the European Union. Refugees are beaten, though they are just trying to find a better life in the European Union,” the deputy prime minister said.

Igor Petrishenko also thanked WHO for providing medical assistance. “Several mobile intensive care units are on standby at the border instead of performing their main functions in this difficult time of the COVID-19 pandemic. We hope that in addition to those standard kits for providing medical care, you will send a well-equipped mobile intensive care unit to deliver medical care to refugees at this stage,” the deputy prime minister emphasized.

“The migrant crisis at the border was not created by us, it was created from outside, but we have to use our own resources and funds to respond to it and fulfill commitments assumed by WHO. Belarus acts, among other things, within the framework of WHO's 2021 program that clearly says that we need to protect the health of women, children and teenagers and that healthcare systems should respond to emergencies. This situation is a test for the World Health Organization. I urge you and the WHO secretary-general to respond and to show that the World Health Organization acts in accordance with its mandate in order to deliver quality and effective assistance,” Igor Petrishenko said.

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