Drama on the Belarus-Poland border: young migrant drowned and his family watched the funeral on Facebook

Ahmad al Hasan, a young Syrian migrant 19 years old that drowned in October when trying to cross a river to enter Europe from Belarus, it was buried in a cemetery intended for the small Muslim community of Poland.

Buried more than 2,300 kilometers from his hometown of Homs, Syria, his family was able to say their last goodbye thanks to a cell phone transmission carried out by a Syrian doctor who has lived in the region for years.

After a prayer in front of the wooden mosque on the eastern town of Bohoniki, a small group of people accompanied the funeral, the first in Poland since the border crisis broke out months ago.

“He is a human being, we must give him a proper burial. One feels sorry for them,” local Muslim leader Maciej Szczesnowicz told AFP. “He is a Muslim, a young person, we have to help,” he said. In the last few months, at least 11 migrants have died on the Poland-Belarus border.

How did Ahmad al Hasan die?

Maciej Szczesnowicz reported that the young Syrian lost his life trying to cross the Bug River from Belarus, while another migrant who survived the crossing told the Polish authorities that the Belarusian guards pushed them into the watereven though they were told they couldn’t swim.

Al Hasan “he hoped to continue his studies, which began in a refugee center in Jordan, “he told AFP Kasim shady, the Syrian doctor who transmitted the funeral for the family: “He was looking for the same as all young people with dreams, but it did not work. Death came very fast“.

Thousands of migrants, many of whom desperately fleeing war and misery in the Middle EastThey have tried to cross the border in sometimes icy conditions; they say they are between a rock and a hard place: Belarus prevents them from returning to Minsk to fly back to your country and Poland does not allow them to cross the border to request asylum.

The European Union (EU) accuses Belarus of luring migrants to cross the border, in retaliation for the sanctions imposed last year after the repression of opponents, to which Poland responded with the displacement of thousands of soldiers to the border and the application of a state of emergency, as well as the rapid installation of barbed wire.

Support Syrians fleeing to Europe

The Muslim community led by Szczesnowicz, brings together more than 300 people descended from Muslim Tatars who came to Poland at least as early as the 14th century, hired by local rulers for their reputations as brave warriors on horseback.

Currently, only about 30,000 Muslims, including 5,000 Tatars, live in the country of 38 million Catholic-majority inhabitants, so the community of Bohoniki has helped migrants at the border by collecting clothes, food and money, in addition to provide aid to soldiers in the area, making soup every day for them.


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