Jiyan Foundation Statement Humanitarian Crisis in Belarusian-Polish Border

Jiyan Foundation Statement Humanitarian Crisis in Belarusian-Polish Border

NEW YORK (November 16, 2021) — Jiyan Foundation for Human Rights leaders released the below statements addressing the humanitarian crisis at the border of Belarus and Poland:

Jiyan Foundation Founder and Chairman Salah Ahmad:

“The immigration crisis on the border of Belarus and Poland is a sad circumstance and one that could have been avoided. We urge the European Union member states and the Government of Belarus to provide humanitarian relief to refugees and migrants at the border. The choice to leave human beings to suffer from freezing conditions and lack of essential necessities is unacceptable and violates the absolute prohibition of torture and other ill-treatment.

“Jiyan Foundation also urges the press around the world to cover the economic conditions driving this crisis and present an honest depiction of the circumstances propelling this narrative so that governments and private enterprises can make informed decisions of how to support and invest in the region.

“The conditions driving people to seek a better life for their families are not due exclusively to violence or persecution, but also a lack of economic opportunity in their homeland. These immigrants come from the regions where the Jiyan Foundation provides relief, mental health and medical treatment, legal, peace-building, and capacity-building services for communities in Kurdistan-Iraq, Iraq, and Syria. The communities Jiyan serves have been affected by decades of war, violence, terrorism, and traumatic events, but today we are at a critical juncture in the development of the region. We are doing our part to ensure that young people do not feel obliged to make the difficult choice between staying at home with their loved ones or risking their lives in pursuit of economic security.

“We request all who can support capacity-building programs in developing nations, like the ones provided through Jiyan Foundation to do so, so that the unfortunate events driven by these circumstances do not need to repeat in the years to come anywhere in the world.”

Jiyan Foundation Head of Program for Rights and Justice Dr. Bojan Gavrilovic added:

“Erecting barbed wire barriers and deploying troops is a compassionless method of responding to people seeking refuge. Preventing people from seeking protection by forcibly returning them to another country is a clear breach of international law. Furthermore, such actions also violate the absolute prohibition of torture and other ill-treatment, a cornerstone of any civilized society.

“To avoid further loss of human life, Jiyan urges the EU member states and the Government of Belarus to act immediately and provide humanitarian relief to asylum seekers at the border with Poland, Lithuania, and Latvia. It is also imperative that all of the countries involved in this matter provide free movement for people who want to return to their homeland or facilitate access to refugee protection by, inter alia, accepting and processing asylum applications of those who wish to do so. This should be done in a fair and efficient refugee status determination procedure, facilitated by UNHCR and IOM if necessary, and aligned with the 1951 Refugee Convention and the European Convention on Human Rights.”


About Jiyan Foundation for Human Rights

Jiyan Foundation for Human Rights is a nonprofit organization that supports survivors of human rights violations, defends fundamental freedoms, and promotes democratic values throughout the world. Jiyan Foundation seeks to build democratic societies that protects the dignity of the human being, where adults and children enjoy the rights to life and freedom, and citizens are free from violence, torture, and terror,

Our programs, projects, and initiatives provide mental health, medical treatment and other health services to survivors of trauma, terror, domestic violence, and human rights violations. Our work supports nine treatment centers, a clinic for Yazidi women and families, a Healing Garden and mobile teams helping survivors in 11 refugee and IDP camps in nine regions throughout Kurdistan, Iraq, and Syria. Since 2005 these programs have provided support to over 100,000 people.