HDP calls on Europe to enforce human rights, take in migrants

In view of the humanitarian crisis on the Polish side of the EU's external border with Belarus, the HDP leaders call on Europe to enforce human rights and take in migrants on instead of continuing to rely on military isolation.

In light of the humanitarian crisis on Poland's border with Belarus, HDP leaders Pervin Buldan and Mithat Sancar called on the European Union to enforce human rights and accept migrants instead of relying on military closure, further exacerbating the dire situation in the region. "If Europe wants to credibly appear as a union that bases its actions on respect for human rights and human dignity, it must demonstrate that these principles are not just slogans," read a letter from Buldan and Sancar to EU Foreign Affairs Commissioner Josep Borrell.

Regardless of their final destination, the stranded migrants must not be allowed to suffer in low temperatures without food, water and adequate shelter, Buldan and Sancar said; “At the Belarusian-Polish border, the European policy of sealing off people is currently leading to an escalation. A humanitarian crisis has been playing out in the region since the summer, and has worsened drastically in recent weeks. In the militarized no-man's-land between Belarus and is said to be currently about 3,000 people, 500 of them are children. Most of them are Kurds from Iraq.

The situation of migrants is catastrophic. So far, there have been at least seventeen documented deaths among the refugees - due to frostbite or dehydration. Twelve other migrants are considered missing. "In light of this, we were deeply saddened to see European governments deploying their armies against refugees instead of distributing food and blankets. We call on EU member states to protect Europe's values and provide the necessary assistance to people in need. Responsible authorities must immediately take the initiative to solve this crisis in a humanitarian way as soon as possible," the HDP co-chairs said. The letter was also sent to the Secretary General and the Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe, the Director of the EU Fundamental Rights Agency, the UN Commissioner for Refugees and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Borrel wants European intervention force

Meanwhile, EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell is seeking a European rapid reaction force of up to 5,000 troops by 2025. It is part of a "strategic compass" that Borrell presented to the ambassadors of the 27 member states this week. His draft for a new EU security policy concept envisages that the new unit could be decided as early as next year. Depending on requirements, air and naval forces are to participate alongside ground troops. EU foreign and defense ministers are to discuss the draft in Brussels on Monday.