WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Thousands of protesters marched Sunday in two Polish cities in solidarity with migrants and asylum-seekers at the Poland-Belarus border who have been pushed back by Polish authorities.
Several thousand people marched in Warsaw and others protested in Krakow under the slogan “Stop torture at the border." Marchers accused Polish authorities of cruel behavior for pushing the migrants back and for imposing a state of emergency at the border that has prevented human rights workers from going there to aid people.
“How many bodies lie in the forest?” read one sign in Warsaw, referring to several deaths that have occurred in the border region's forests and swamps.
Many carried flags made of emergency foil, a reference to the blankets the migrants trapped outdoors at the border need now as temperatures fall to freezing at night.
For about two months, large numbers of people from the Mideast and Africa have been trying to enter Poland illegally from Belarus. Polish authorities have reacted firmly. They accused Belarus and Russia of encouraging the migration to trigger instability within the entire EU, calling it “hybrid warfare.”