Kurdish refugee in Belarus: My city is in ruins, all my friends are dead, and my only hope is to get to Europe

Osho, 27, an immigrant from Iraqi Kurdistan, says his hometown of Jalawla was completely destroyed and all his friends died there, and he now hopes to build a new life with his wife Suze, 26, in Germany. “We can’t go back and we can’t stay in Minsk, we have no other choice but to cross the border,” says Suz, who wants to become an engineer.

The British newspaper, The Sunday Times, reported – a report To her – that Osho and Suze said this in the shopping center of the Belarusian capital Minsk, which became the starting point of an international crisis. Every day, groups of migrants carrying heavy backpacks gather in the same place in Minsk in freezing temperatures, preparing for trips to the eastern border of the European Union.

Poverty and wars

Many are fleeing poverty or war in the Middle East, Asia or Africa. On Friday, outside the shopping center called Galleria, groups of Belarusians in plain clothes were apparently responsible for organizing transportation to the border.

Soz and Osho had already made one failed attempt to reach the European Union, and after reaching the Polish border, men in uniform believed to be Belarusian police officers put them on a bus carrying them and other migrants to the border with Lithuania.

Even children

“When we were at the border, we didn’t have enough food and water, and it was very cold there. I felt sorry for the children. I saw an 8-month-old baby there,” said Souz.

At least 8 migrants died at the border in the dense jungle, and some say they were assaulted by Belarusian and Polish border guards. Belarusian security forces have also been accused of shooting the migrants in the head to bring them back to the volatile border region, when they tried to return to Minsk.

“I know what’s happening at the border, but that won’t stop me, it’s Europe or death,” said Aka, who is also a Kurd from Iraq in his mid-twenties and has paid $3,000 for visas and flights.

Aid groups have warned of a deepening humanitarian crisis, with temperatures expected to drop to -4 degrees Celsius this week. Although many stay in hotels, others spend the nights in tents in parks in Minsk before trying to reach the European Union.

like savages

A shop assistant in Minsk said migrants were coming to buy warm clothes and “were polite”, but she was angered by sightings of people trying to break the fence at the Polish border.

She added that she felt sorry for them, but said that when they try to destroy everything with sticks and illegally cross the border, this raises a negative attitude, “I don’t know what is happening in their countries, or what they are fleeing from, but they act like savages on the border.”

An Afghan citizen said last week that Belarusian border guards gave the migrants cutters, and forced them to cut a barbed wire fence on the Polish border.

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