Witnesses at the Polish-Belarusian Border

November 10, 2021
By Magdalena Wernefeldt

For more than two months, Anna Alboth and Karol Wilczyński together with about 40 activists have helped people trapped at the border between Belarus and Poland. They demand form the international community to act and for media to report.

Anna Alboth and Karol Wilczyński both belong to the Grupa Granica, the Border Group, a Polish network of NGO’s doing everything in their might to reach the refugees with food, water, clothes and explaining how to apply for asylum.

Grupa Granica have about eight teams operating near the border and about 40 people in total. The work is difficult. Only locals can reach the refugees in the secure zone, a two-mile deep militarised zone created by the Polish government. Nor media nor NGOs are allowed to enter the zone.

People trapped in the woods at the border between Belarus and Poland.

Inside the zone thousands of men, women and children are kept captive by Belarusian military forces.

– The worst is that they are held hostage by the Lukashenko regime and what the regime is exposing them to. They are not given food, nor water. We have reports saying they have to buy some bread for 20 euro, Karol Wilczyński told the Swedish newspaper, Dagens Nyheter.

See, speak, act

Some refugees have managed to escape and pass the zone. The activist then hurry to find them before the border police finds them. Many times they are in dire condition.

– The migrants often ask for food, water, a doctor or a pair of shoes. I met a family from Syria who didn’t have any footwear, Anna Alboth told the Guardian.

The activists have been demanding that observers, media and humanitarian aid must be admitted to the zone immediately.

– If the world won’t be talking, they will be all left there, in the forests. Scared, dehumanised and freezing, Anna writes on her Instagram.

Karol Wilczyński fears mass graves along the Polish border:

– In December and January we can have nights with minus 20 degrees Celsius and then almost everyone are at risk of dying.


Klick to follow Anna Alboth and Karol Wilczyński on Instagram.