Meet the Middle Eastern migrants trapped in Lithuania
20 August 2021 | 12:37 pm
Lured to Belarus with promises of easy EU immigration, Iraqis, Syrians and Afghans are now trapped in Lithuania. Abbas al-Khashali and Hamza al-Shawabkeh met them there.
Turkey has banned nationals from Iraq, Syria and Yemen from traveling to Belarus. It comes amid EU pressure over migrants stranded at Belarus' border with Poland.
In this special edition, we focus on the migrant crisis brewing on the European Union's eastern border. Thousands of people from the Middle East have travelled to Belarus in the hope of entering the EU. Now they are trapped on the border with Poland, desperately trying to survive in freezing conditions. We take a closer look and speak to Kinda Youssef from our InfoMigrants website.
Polish security forces report multiple attempts by migrants to cross the border and detain over 100. A migration policy expert says Poland is flouting EU law.
Activists who took part in search and rescue operations off Greece now face charges including human trafficking, espionage, and money laundering.
The migrants were "crammed" into the trailers of two trucks, according to the local head of the Human Rights Commission. Most were from the neighboring state of Guatemala.
China said it took the punitive step after self-ruled Taiwan opened a de facto embassy in Lithuania.
As temperatures across Europe plummet, thousands of migrants are still stuck in Belarus, hoping to find a route into the European Union — although Brussels insists the bloc will not accept them. DW's Nick Connolly met some of them in Minsk.
The Belarusian strongman has encouraged migrants to continue their journey into the European Union. "We will not try to catch you, beat you, and hold you behind barbed wire," he said.
Many of the migrants currently languishing at the Poland-Belarus border come from Iraq. Most of them hail from the autonomous region of Iraqi Kurdistan in the north of the country. This area is often described as a haven of peace, but the reality is somewhat darker. Our correspondent Lucile Wassermann went to meet the Iraqis ready to risk everything to flee their region.
Citizens of Afghanistan were by far the biggest group of people applying for asylum in the EU, Switzerland and Norway in September 2021.
Activists who helped migrants reach Greece in 2018 are on trial on the island of Lesbos. The accusations against them include spying and human trafficking. DW caught up with some of those facing the most serious charges.
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