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Polish police block Chechen refugees from protest

IMCistas | 06.10.2006 21:53 | Transnational Day of Action Against Migration Controls | Migration | Repression | World

Update, 22:30: The bus of refugees returned to Lublin escorted by the police. One policeman is in the bus, and the bus is escorted by a police car. (source:

Warsaw, 6 Oct 2006. A bus carrying Chechen refugees from Lublin to a demonstration against immigration policies in Warsaw was stopped by the Polish police around 15:00 (Polish time) today. In response, the demonstrators decided to block the Bureau of Deportation Affairs and Foreigners in Warsaw, where the demo was being held. The passengers, with their children, are still being held 7 hours on, and it seems that 3 of them are going to be deported. Below is a timeline of the events.

Warsaw, 21:30 (UTC+2): The police 'operation' is still going on. Police stated that 3 people "should not be allowed on Polish territory" and they may be deported. Two of them don't have any identity documents at all and the procedures of removing them from the country are in progress, while the third person has got a permission to stay in Poland.

Warsaw, 20:00 (UTC+2): Our correspondents have reported that the bus with refugees is still under police control at Garwolin. It could remain there for several hours yet, even though there are young children on the bus, which underlines the tragic situation of the refugees.

Warsaw, 19:45 (UTC+2): The demonstrators have finished the protest at the Prime Minister's Chancellory. A meeting is now taking place.

Warsaw, 19:10 (UTC+2): Right now all the participants in the picket (protest at the Chancellory) are having their identities taken by the police. pl.indymedia

Warsaw, 18:15 (UTC+2): The protest continues. The demonstration moved to the Prime Minister's Chancellory. A dozen or so of people are standing on both sides of the street calling out: "Free the bus of refugees! We insist that the prime minister intervenes!" One participant, who had his identity checked some ten minutes before, was quickly detained. The bus with the Chechen refugees is still being held by the police at Garwolin without any justification. The situation of the refugees is getting more and more dramatic: they are tired; their requests for information as to why their identity documents have been taken and when they'll be able to leave are ignored; many want to return to Lublin on their own, but they can't leave the bus without their documents. The Police's behaviour is simply scandalous. pl.indymedia

Warsaw, 18:04 (UTC+2): See the KWK (Free Caucasus Committee) statement (pl)

Warsaw, 17:00 Polish time (UTC+2): After 40 minutes, the occupation of the URIC was suspended. Earlier, the police had managaged to unblock one of the building's exits. At 16:30, the organisers announced the end of the demonstration. However, in front of URIC, a dozen or so of people carrying Chechen flags have just arrived. The picketers plan to stay there until the police allow the Chechen refugees to continue their journey. At the moment, the bus is still at Garwolin and will be able to move once the passengers have their identity documents back. The police arriving at the spot have admitted that they got orders "from above" to stop this bus and hold it longer. The refugees will probably be held until the protestors in Warsaw leave Koszykowa Street. (source: pl.indy)

Warsow, 15:00 Polish time (UTC+2): A demonstration against immigration policies started in Warsaw, in front of the Bureau of Deportation Affairs and Foreigners at Koszykowa Street. A bus carrying Chechen refugees from Lublin to the demonstration has been held for over 2 hours now by police near the town of Garwolin, a few dozen kms from Warsaw. The police took identity documents from everyone on the bus. Among them were many young children; the refugees were not even allowed to get out of the bus. Receiving the information about stopping the bus, demonstrators at Koszykowa Street started a blocade of the Bureau. Officials are not being permitted to leave the building until the refugees are freed. At the moment [06-10-2006 16:31], a few dozen people are in front of URIC. (source: pl.indy +