10 stories of refugees who lost their lives at the Polish-Belarusian border - PART 1
Updated: Sep 15, 2022
The border between #Poland and #Belarus has turned into a death trap, wherein refugees are moved between the two borders. As a result, many of them are still in limbo, tired, hungry, and cold at the 'no man's mand.' Since September, the border has witnessed at least one death per week, no thanks to Poland, Belarus, and the #EU, who provided NO help to these people. Journalists from "@spiegelmagazin " and the media platform @lighthousereports proved the death of 16 adults and one unborn child. They managed to establish the names of 12 dead.
In #Bohoniki, on the border with Belarus, lies Poland's largest #Muslim#cemetery. Since November, some of those who died fleeing Belarus have been buried here. The imam still hopes to repatriate the dead at some point. Then relatives could visit their graves. Now strangers lay flowers.
We would like to share 12 stories—12 stories of refugees who lost their lives due to the #inhumanity of the political systems. These deaths are nothing short of #genocide. We would like to pay homage to Rajaa Hasan (44, Syria), Anwar Mahmoud al-Jaf (25, Iraqi Kurdistan), Ahmad al-Hasan (19, Syria), Avin Irfan Zahir (38, Iraq), Issa Jerjos (24, Syria), Ahmed Hamed al-Zabhawi (29, Iraq), Gaylan Dler Ismail (25, Iraqi Kurdistan), Farhad Nabo (33, Syria), Mostafa al-Raimi (37, Yemen), Kurdo Khalid (35, Iraqi Kurdistan), Wafaa Kamal (38, Iraq).
All of them are humans and had the grit to persevere. No, it's not safe in #Syria or #Yemen or #Iraq, and yes, many of them tried obtaining #visas but in vain. Imagine, having to continue a harrowing journey to Europe if things back home were not even worse. But what led to their demise? Hypothermia, Stroke, Drowning in the river, Hunger & Thirst and basic negligence from the part of the governments. Shame!
These people came here searching for a safer and better life, people with dreams, people who wanted to work, study and contribute to the betterment of Europe; they are people like you and me. These stories this week will give you a brief insight into the lives of 12 people who lost their lives to inhumanity.
Story 1 - Farhad Nabo (33, Syria).
After several unsuccessful attempts, Farhad Nabo crossed the border to #Poland in #October with another #Syrian. In a #TikTok video, a man introduces Farhad as his companion, and he laughs and waves at the camera. Farhad thought he had reached his destination when he got into a smuggler's car in Poland. But on the run from the police, the #smuggler crashed into a truck. Nabo was killed instantly.
In #Syria, Farhad Nabo worked as a #pastry chef in #Kobane. On his days off, he played #football with his two sons. He hardly told anyone about his plans to escape; he wanted to catch up with his family later.
But, his father-in-law said, "Farhad dreamed of being able to put his sons on a school bus without having to fear for them." They are now trying to bring his body back to Syria.
Story 2 - Ahmad al-Hasan (19, Syria).
Ahmad al-Hasan was the youngest of seven siblings and preferred Amir. He thought Ahmad was too familiar a name. Amir* wanted to become a #lawyer and passed his high school diploma. Still, the family did not have enough money for his studies.
Shortly before leaving for #Belarus, Amir told his brother of his journey while assuring him not to worry and that things would be simple. Amir set out to reach #Europe with his friend al-Ensi. Al-Ensi #TikTok channel had a video saying goodbye to his family in #Damascus. He cried and hugged his loved ones. They had a room booked for seven nights in the Belarus Hotel (Belarus) in #Minsk. They walked around the city and took pictures. However, they were told it was time to go to the border after two days. An #Iraqi#smuggler, Abu Adam, who was to organise their escape to #Poland, demanded $ 2,500 per person. He took the two boys to the border by car and six other refugees; they were to cover the rest of the distance on foot, in total darkness to Poland.
Around 3.00 am, the group reached the #border river #Bug. Four #Belarusian soldiers with machine #guns and #dogs approached them. They ordered the #refugees to inflate rubber #dinghies. Then they rushed them towards the river. A #soldier came them. When Al-Ensi said he wanted to turn back, the soldier only ordered: "Go to Poland!". Then he pushed the boat off the shore. The boys reached about halfway down the river. Suddenly, the rushing current capsised the dinghy. Amir and Al-Ensi fell into the water. Al-Ensi hit his head against the log, gripped it tightly, and saved himself thanks to it. He heard Amir gasping for breath. Then there was silence.
Story 3 - Issa Jerjos (24, #Syria).
Issa Jerjos was the eldest son of a #truck driver. A month after Issa began his journey to #Europe, 300 people gathered in his village to commemorate him. The #pastor was praying for him, a #Christian.
Issa's girlfriend Bernadate fell in #love with Issa almost ten years ago when they attended the same school. She thinks about the citrus-scented cologne Issa had always used. She remembers the golden cross he gave her two years ago. "Issa never lied to me," she says. - He had a good heart. Issa and Bernadate dreamt of getting married. He quit his studies in #computerscience to support his family. Issa delivered food on a motorcycle in #Beirut and later worked as a street vendor in #Erbil, #Kurdistan. He sent home about $ 100 a month. When it was no longer possible to earn money in Erbil, Issa decided to go to #Germany.
On September 15, he came to #Minsk and reached #Poland with two Syrians he met. But the Polish security services forced him to return to the Belarusian side. On the second attempt, he lost his companions and walked alone. Issa sent his #girlfriend his last location at 3.30 am. Then, Bernadate says, his phone battery ran out. She never heard from him again.
#Polish NGOs were looking for Issa. A month later, a Polish police officer discovered his body in a field - not far from where he had previously sent his girlfriend. Issa's relatives still do not know what caused his death. The Polish prosecutor's office initiated an investigation; his family hired a #lawyer They hope to be allowed to travel to Poland to see Issa's grave.