Thursday, December 9

Burial of a new victim of the migration crisis in Poland

Burial of a 27-week-old stillborn fetus at the Muslim cemetery in Bohoniki, eastern Poland on November 23, 2021 – Mateusz Slodkowski

A 27-week-old fetus of an Iraqi migrant was buried Tuesday in Bohoniki, eastern Poland, at the bottom of a fourth grave dug in the Muslim cemetery for victims of the migration crisis.

In total, at least eleven people died on both sides of the border, trying to enter the European Union from Belarus.

Only two members of the local community and the imam accompanied the small white coffin to the grave, as the first snow blanketed the surrounding fields.

A small white funeral plaque features a name: Halikari Dhaker.

His mother is in serious condition in a hospital in the region, while the father and their five children are accommodated in a refugee center in Bialystok (east).

The group was found by Polish volunteers in the cold and humid forests of the border area on November 12 near the village of Narewka (east).

“The children were sitting very calmly and peacefully next to their mother, who kept screaming. Their father was wringing his hands, calling for help,” one of the volunteers, Piotr Matecki, told the daily Gazeta Wyborcza.

“She had been in such pain for two days, lying down, vomiting water, not taking any food.”

An ambulance transported the woman to a hospital where doctors declared the fetus dead.

“These people did not leave their home, their country to make a tourist trip but to find a better life”, insisted during the ceremony Ali Aleksander Bazarewicz, the imam of the local Tatar community.

“When we dug the first grave, we were hoping it was the last. Unfortunately it is not,” he added.

On Sunday, a 37-year-old Yemeni migrant who died of cold and exhaustion was buried in the same cemetery.

The West accuses Belarus of orchestrating the crisis by bringing in potential immigrants and bringing them to the border, in revenge for Western sanctions against the regime.

Once there, the migrants find themselves caught between a Poland refusing to let them in and Belarusian police preventing them from turning around.

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