Story of Asmin

Poland (Iraq)

'Asmin*, a 25-year-old Iraqi asylum seeker with her brother, fled the violence and fundamentalism of the resurgent militias in Iraq. Together with other asylum seekers she met in the forest, they contacted the Polish NGO Grupa Granica.


They were in a crowd of over one hundred people being pushed out by the Belarusian border guards and the Polish barbed wire near the Bug River (ref. where a Syrian refugee drowned). As they were running away from the sticks and dogs of the border guards with their families, including men, women, and children, they fell into the icy water of the river Bug. They were in life-threatening conditions when they reached out for help. Unfortunately, the attempted call to an ambulance was unsuccessful as the contact was disconnected. Luckily, after a few days, Grupa Granica reached with the help of necessities like sleeping bags and rescue blankets from Salam Lab. They were shivering.


Asmin was qualified to be a nurse. Instead, it was she who looked after the group. She wrote messages and translated stories told by her friends. They stopped counting how many times Polish soldiers threw them through the razor wire by force. Straight into the hands of Lukashenka's crooks. They showed phones damaged by Polish guards. "You will not use it to record a film about the deportation, you will not call for help when you die in the forest."


Asmin then lifted her sweater, revealing her back full of healing wounds from the border guards' sticks.


*name changed

Story of Asmin