African Students Fleeing Ukraine Held In Secret EU Immigration Facilities An investigation has revealed covert EU immigration camps that are keeping Africans and non-Ukrainians who have fled the conflict in Ukraine against their will.
African Students Fleeing Ukraine Held In Secret EU Immigration Facilities
Independent UK reports that the racist conduct continues despite an EU protection regulation from March 4th, which specifies that third-country individuals studying or working in Ukraine should be allowed to enter the EU on a temporary basis due to humanitarian considerations.
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In a move that has been denounced as “obviously discriminatory” and “not acceptable,” non-white students who have fled Ukraine have been detained by EU border police.
According to an investigation carried out by The Independent in collaboration with Lighthouse Reports and other media partners, Ukrainians of African descent who have crossed the border to flee the conflict have been placed in closed facilities, with some having been there for several weeks already.
Lesznowola, a town 40 kilometers from the Polish capital Warsaw, is home to at least four students who have fled Vladimir Putin’s invasion and are being imprisoned in a long-term holding facility with few means of connection with the outside world and no access to legal representation.
During their crossing of the border, one of the students claimed that they were halted by officials, who forced them to sign a document they did not understand before transporting them to the camp. They have no idea how long they will be detained in that facility.
After being held in the facility for more than three weeks, a Nigerian man who is being detained expressed concern about what will happen to him, saying he was “scared.”
Polish border police have confirmed that 52 foreign people who have fled Ukraine are presently being held in detention facilities in Poland, according to the authorities.
It was reported by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) that they were aware of three additional detention camps in Poland where non-Ukrainians who had left the conflict were being held.
Separately, a Nigerian student who fled the Russian invasion is believed to have been jailed in Estonia after traveling to the nation to visit relatives, and he is now facing expulsion from the country.
Although a European Union protection regulation from March 4 specifies that third-country individuals studying or working in Ukraine should be allowed to enter the EU temporarily on humanitarian grounds, this is not the case at this time.
In a statement, Maria Arena, the chair of the EU Parliament’s subcommittee on human rights, stated that “international students in Ukraine, as well as Ukrainians, are in danger and putting their lives in danger in the country.” “Detention, deportation, or any other action that does not provide them with protection is not appropriate. “”
According to the findings of the investigation, which was conducted in collaboration with Lighhtouse Reports, Spiegal, Mediapart, and Radio France, scores of Black and Asian refugees fleeing Ukraine were discriminated against while attempting to cross the border into France last month, according to reports.
‘They transported us here to the camp…’ ‘I’m a little scared.’
Gabriel*, a 29-year-old student of trade and economics in Kharkov at the time of the war’s outbreak. After leaving the city and arriving at the border on February 27, the Nigerian national claims his phone was confiscated by Polish border guards and that he was given “no choice” but to sign a form that he did not understand before being deported.
“It was written in the Polish language. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. Although he initially refused to sign the document, “they insisted on my signing it and threatened to put me in prison for five months” if I didn’t,” he stated in a taped discussion with a Nigerian activist.
Afterwards, according to the student, he was taken to court, where he claimed there was no translator present to clarify what was being said so that he could understand it, and then taken to a prison center in the nearby village of Lesznowola.
“It’s a locked camp in the middle of a forest,” Gabriel explained from the facility’s grounds. “There is no such thing as freedom. Some folks have been here for more than nine months, according to the records. Some people have gone insane. I’m apprehensive.
The most terrifying moment of my life occurred when we were forced to flee Ukraine […] Everything was terrifying, and I honestly believed that was the end of it. And now we’re being held in detention.”
According to Gabriel, there are at least two additional Nigerian students in the camp, as well as students from Cameroon, Ghana, the Ivory Coast, and French-speaking African countries, among other countries.
Mobile phones are confiscated, according to center guards, with only those who have a second sim card being provided with a phone that does not have a camera, they added.
For many, the only way they can contact with the outside world is through email – and even this is only available during specific hours, according to reports.
Paul, a 20-year-old Cameroonian who had been studying management and language at Agrarian University Bila Tserkva in Kyiv for six months when the war began, is also being held at the detention center. Paul is not the only person being held at the facility.
He had informed his brother, Victor, who is currently in Cameroon, that he had been detained when crossing the border and that on March 2, a Polish judge ordered that he be sent to the Lesznowola detention center.
In his description, the camp does not appear to be a place that would welcome individuals fleeing the conflict in Ukraine. It is a camp that has been in operation for some time and where individuals have come to seek asylum. Everyone is baffled as to why he is being held,” he stated.
In his statement, Victor stated that Paul had been granted seven days to make an appeal against the decision to detain him, but claimed that he had been unable to access the internet and thus file the appeal in time.
Because he filed his appeal on that same day, police and security personnel have attempted to restrict their movements. He used to get five minutes of internet access per day, but on that particular day, they decided to cease allowing them to use the internet. The phone number he used to connect with me had been blacklisted by the authorities. They may have done so because they saw the situation was taking on a legal dimension,” he speculated.
‘He is not permitted to be in Estonia,’ says the official.
A Nigerian student, Reuben, has been imprisoned in Estonia after fleeing the conflict in Ukraine, according to sources received by this inquiry. Reuben is facing deportation, according to the reports.
Prior to his arrival in the eastern European country, Reuben, 32, sent an email to the head of International House, a service center that assists internationals in Estonia in communicating with the government, explaining that he wanted to travel to the country to visit his cousin who was already living there.
The organization’s leader, Leonardo Ortega, reacted in writing, indicating that he may migrate to Estonia.
Reuben, who attended Bila Tserkva National Agrarian University in Ukraine and is married to a Ukrainian woman, came in the United States on March 9 with his cousin Peter, who had traveled to the country from Poland.
According to Peter, 30, who has a residency permit in Estonia, the pair was brought to a police station after being held at the Estonian border for three hours, according to Peter’s account.