Tuesday, November 9, 2021

EU accuses Lukashenko of gangster-style abuse

The EU has accused Belarus's authoritarian leader Alexander Lukashenko of luring migrants with false promises of easy entry into the EU. Thousands are now at the Belarus border with Poland. Poland, Lithuania and Latvia have all seen a surge in the number of people trying to enter their countries illegally from Belarus. Many are young men but they include women and children, most from the Middle East and Asia. Migrants describe how Belarusian authorities seized their phones and push them towards the border fence. Overnight temperatures are below zero and several people have already died. A man from Iraq told how he had arrived in Minsk from Baghdad, and was now in a camp metres from Poland's barbed-wire fence. "There's no way to escape," he said. "Poland won't let us in. Every night they fly helicopters. They don't let us sleep. We are so hungry. There's no water or food here."
Alexander Lukashenko served as the first president of Belarus since July 1994. Lukashenko served in the Soviet Border Troops and in the Soviet Army. He referred to himself as "Europe's last dictator". Elections are not free and fair, opponents of the regime are brutally repressed, and the media is not free. Lukashenko continues state ownership of key industries. Following the most recent election, he is not recognized by the UK, EU, or the United States as the legitimate president of Belarus. He is recognized by Russia, China, Iran, Armenia, Syria, Venezuela, and Cuba.