ERBIL — Both Belarus and Poland have committed "serious" human rights violations at their border where thousands of migrants are stuck, a report by Human Rights Watch said on Wednesday.
Governments of the two countries "have an obligation to prevent further deaths by ensuring regular humanitarian access to the people stuck in the border area," the report said, as cited by AFP.
In-depth interviews conducted by HRW researchers with 19 people indicated that some of the migrants "had been pushed back, sometimes violently, by Polish border guards".
These pushbacks, they added, "violate the right to asylum under EU law", calling on the EU to "start showing solidarity with the victims at the border on both sides who are suffering and dying".
According to the researchers, "violence, inhuman and degrading treatment and coercion" by Belarusian border guards were "commonplace", while HRW noted that this treatment "may in some cases constitute torture, in violation of Belarus's international legal obligations".
The Polish border guards, the HRW report said, had been accused of separating some migrants from their family members, including parents from children, by taking those in need of medical care to the hospital while sending the other family members back to Belarus.
It also urged the two countries to "halt ping-pong pushbacks and allow independent observers, including journalists and human rights workers, access to currently restricted border areas".
Among the migrants stranded on the border between Belarus and Poland are thousands of Kurds. They have been attempting to cross the Polish border and reach other European countries, while the EU continues to reject accepting them.