Four migrants from Syria and Iraq were rescued late Tuesday from a swamp in Poland near the border with Belarus in an operation that lasted several hours.
“They were at a point where access to them was difficult because it was a swampy area,” said Anna Michalska, a spokeswoman for the Polish border guard.
“The fire brigade came with special equipment and (…) we pulled the migrants,” he added.
In addition to the fire brigade, the land army also participated in the rescue operation.
The group of immigrants, ie three men and a woman, were spotted by army drones.
Business battle for their lives
“Due to the low temperatures and the hypothermia suffered by the migrants, the operation was a battle for their health and lives,” the army said in a statement, adding that the migrants were taken to hospital.
Immigrants have been roaming the swamps near the village of Siemjanovka since Monday, according to aid organization Ocalenie.
Read also: Poland – Authorities deport 28 migrants to Belarus
On Tuesday, they sent a message to the organization in Arabic saying:
“We are in danger. Please do your best to reach us. If necessary, call the police. “
Activists are worried
Although the number of migrants trying to enter the EU from Belarus has fallen in recent weeks, human rights activists have expressed concern about the dangers posed by those attempting to cross into Poland amid polar temperatures.
The EU accuses Belarus of orchestrating the migration crisis on its eastern border in retaliation for Western sanctions against Minsk.
Poland, for its part, has come under fire from human rights activists, who accuse it of depriving migrants of the right to seek asylum because it deports them to Belarus, exposing them to potentially life-threatening dangers as temperatures plummet.
Warsaw denies the allegations, saying Belarus’s migrants’s responsibility and that its humanitarian aid proposals have been rejected.