According to the Polish Border Guard, five pro-refugee activists violated the “No entry” sign on a part of the road between Poland and Belarus. The individuals, who are being defend by the Border Group NGO, refused to be given spot fines, and as a result, they will now head to court.
The spokesperson of the Polish border force stated that officers responsible for electronic surveillance of the border area noticed several people on the Polish side of the border illegally passing packages onto the Belarusian side of the frontier. A border patrol was sent to the area and identified three Poles, two Germans and a Swiss citizen.
On-site investigations revealed that five of the individuals had violated the border crossing. In the course of the investigation, it was discovered that a 26-year-old German woman had committed the same offense at the border before. As a result, she was served with a five-year exclusion order from entering Polish territory, the Polish Border Guard wrote on Twitter.
Since all the individuals concerned refused to accept a fine of 500 zloty (€106), the matter will have to go to court. The activists are receiving support from Border Group NGO, which organizes humanitarian aid on the Belarusian border. The suspects apparently did not make any complaint about the way they had been treated on the spot, but later took to social media to allege that they had been improperly treated by border guards.
They alleged that the manner they had been handled by border guards was “yet another attempt at intimidating activists” and that they had suffered “verbal abuse” and “xenophobia.”
The NGO alleges that the expulsion of the German activist was illegal, as removing EU citizens from Polish territory can only take place when national security or public health is at issue. The activists claimed that assisting migrants is not a threat to Polish security and that refusing fines from the border guards is the right of all individuals who prefer the matter to be settled in court.
The Polish Border Guard points out that entry into territory closest to the border has been limited by decisions taken by the territorial administration due to the crisis situation at the border and that passing packages across the border is forbidden.
These regulations are displayed clearly on the border and the penalty for violating them is 500 zloty.