The International Red Cross,The Ukrainian refugees and those, who trapped between Poland and Belarus/Is there a difference?

Opinie, gepost door: Astrid Essed op 28/05/2022 05:02:13

That things are not divided equally in this world is a bitter known fact and we hope
through struggle to change that/But seldom you see it so dramatically as in the treatment
of refugees in Europe/While the Ukrainian refugees ar received with open arms [and I
applaud that] the treatment of refugees outside of Europe is often completely different/
NOT by anyone, of course, but nonetheless/According to some refugee workers The Red Cross
also makes differences/I wrote the Red Cross to pose some painful questions/Read further






Questions about the International Red Cross attitude against
Ukrainian refugees versus refugees trapped between Belarus and

Your mission as International Red Cross

''The work of the ICRC is based on the Geneva Conventions of 1949, their Additional Protocols, its Statutes – and those of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement – and the resolutions of the International Conferences of the Red Cross and Red Crescent. The ICRC is an independent, neutral organization ensuring humanitarian protection and assistance for victims of armed conflict and other situations of violence. It takes action in response to emergencies and at the same time promotes respect for international humanitarian law and its implementation in national law.

[When you are pressed with time, go directly to the part below:

Dear President
Dear members of the Assembly,

Firstly my great appreciation for your fantastic and indispensable Work
through the whole world!
Without your humanitarian involvement and the sometimes great risks
your co workers take, life would be extremely difficult, if not impossible,
for the millions of people you are helping day after day.

But even the best of organisations need critical attention and have their
flaws and that's precisely the reason of this letter.
For in my opinion the International Red Cross attention for the Ukrainian
refugees, who have crossed the Polish Border is far more greater than the attention for the refugees, who tried to cross the Polish Border and are still trapped between the borders of Poland and Belarus.

Now I will not say, that the International Red Cross did nothing for these refugees.
On the contrary:
My great appreciation for the Good Work of the Finnish Red Cross, that
helped those people wonderfully! [1]
I also appreciate the emergency calls and involvement
of the American Red Cross, The Belarus Red Cross, the Poland Red Cross,
the Lithuanian Red Cross and the other Red Cross departments [2]
Thank you, Finnish Red Cross [which gets this letter cc also]
and thank you, the other mentioned and peerhaps not mentioned Red Cross departments !
Also a Shout out to all those anonymous Polish people,
who helped refugees! [3]
And I express my appreciation to the president of the International
Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies mr F Rocca, who
stated, that thee should be no difference in the reception and protection
of refugees, whether they are Ukrainians or coming from other countries.
I quote him:
''“The political, public and humanitarian response to the Ukraine crisis has shown what is possible when humanity and dignity comes first, when there is global solidarity and the will to assist and protect the most vulnerable,”
''“This must be extended to everyone in need, wherever they come from. Ethnicity and nationality should not be deciding factors in saving lives.” [4]


I referred to the great attention of the International Red Cross to the Ukrainian
refugees [5] and don't get me wrong:
I appreciate that very much and I think it is of the utmost importance to stand
for these people, who were the victims of the Russian invasion and had to flee their countries under so dramatic circumstances.
I sympathise with all refugees whoever they are and where they came from
and I know the International Red Cross does the same.
And yet, according to me, sometimes things go wrong.

Too often I learn from people from the field: Volunteers who do their utmost
to help those. who are trapped between the borders of Belarus and Poland, that
the Red Cross is not, or not enough, present to help the between border refugees":
I quote something that made great impression on me:
It's from mrs Anna Albot, a spokeswoman for the Polish Minority
Right Group [also mentioned in cc] and member of the Grupa Granica:
Quote: [first in Dutch, then translation in English]:
''Waar is het Rode Kruis, de Internationale Organisatie voor Migratie van de VN en de VN-vluchtelingenorganisatie? Die organisaties die zelfs in oorlogsgebieden opereren? Die voedsel en water naar de gevaarlijkste criminelen brengen? Is Elina, 5, gevaarlijker of minder waard? '' [6]
In English:
''Where is the Red Cross, The International Organisation for Migration
of the UN and the UNHCR?
Those organisations which even operate in warzones?
Which bring food and water to the most dangerous criminals?
Is Elina, 5, more dangerous and worth less?
Mrs Albot also published this article in the Guardian [8 december 2021]


This was in december 2021
And to my knowledge, the situation of the refugees, trapped
in the Polish-Belarussian border is yet inhuman, as is the
situation of the refugees, who reached Poland and are in
Polish detention centres in dire conditions.
See the statement of Amnesty International [7]

Now I had the impression, that on this moment, the main attention
of the International Cross goes to the Ukrainian refugees and that the
trapped refugees between Poland and Belarus are somewhat forgotten.
When I am wrong, please send me the information about
your involvement in the no one land between those borders.

When I am NOT wrong, please explain to me, why the International
Red Cross shows less attention to those refugees:

Are you being hindered in your activities, something volunteers have experienced in the past months? [8]
And if that's so, what did you do, as an International Organisation, to
address to this situation?
Did you write to the Polish and Belarussian authorities?
Did you gave press conferences about this?

Did you try to visit the Polish detention centres, where, according to the
information of Amnesty International, the border refugees are being
mistreated and denied their right to asylum? [9]
If not, why not?
Because you are hindered in your activities?
And again the question:
If you are hindered in your activities, what did you do to protest and get access anyway, as
is your right and obligation as the International Red Cross?

And when, suppose you HAD access to the mentioned detention centres and
were not hindered in your activities, why did you give more attention
to the Ukrainian refugees then to those trapped between Belarus and
Again, I don't say you on purpose neglected those between borders refugees, I only had the impression more attention went to the Ukrainian refugees, who have, of course, the full right to your attention, only not more then


Dear president, members of the International Red Cross, I hope you
forgive me my bold and critical questions, but they were necessary:
Like Amnesty International [10] I am very concerned about the
inhuman situation of the refugees between the border, as their reception in
Poland, that is quite different from the warm welcome
the Ukrainian refugees received, as it should be for all refugees.

You as a great humanitarian organisation can make the difference and
show the World and especially the European leaders, that all refugees
must be treated and received humanely, regardless where they came from
or what their origins are.

Do your best.
The refugees count on you!

And if you're pressed with time and can't answer me, no problem

All I want is that you do your humanitarian task to all refugees,
whoever they are

Thank you

Kind greetings

Astrid Essed
The Netherlands



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