A BBC report published on Monday, which included claims from a Nigerian student who crossed the Ukrainian-Polish border of having been treated “like an animal” by Polish officials, have been denied by a number of journalists.
The British broadcaster released a recording of the Nigerian student’s remarks, however, the content was incomplete and did not provide any specific details about who exactly had ill-treated the man in question. A passage in which the individual claims he was assaulted by an armed man is cut mid-sentence, with the only certainty as to the recording’s provenance being a Polish restaurant in the background and a Polish volunteer in the footage.
Miguel A. Gayo Macias, the correspondent of Spain’s “El Confidencial,” tweeted a strong denial of the allegations, rubbishing reports of racism among Polish authorities and revealing that people of all ethnicity had been treated with “kindness and respect.”
Senior Polish journalist Marcin Makowski went further, accusing the BBC of propagating Vladimir Putin’s propaganda with an unverified story.
On Monday evening, the report was deleted from the BBC’s main Twitter account.
The Nigerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has said it has received assurances from its counterpart in Ukraine that all foreign citizens are able to leave Ukraine freely without any obstacles. It has also reported that by the weekend, 52 Nigerians had found their way to Poland. with another 23 awaiting to cross the border.
The Nigerian ministry praised the Poles for a well-organized refugee reception center with beds, food, heating, a change of clothes, and medical assistance.
This is not the first attack of this type on Poland. At the weekend, a well-known Canadian activist Cheri DiNovo claimed on Twitter that Poland is blocking Muslim refugees while welcoming Ukrainian Christians.
Poland’s Embassy in Ottawa replied, explaining that Poland opposes regimes that use migrants as human shields to destabilize EU and NATO but will always help people, regardless of their race or religion, when they are fleeing war.