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Hunger and deportation in store for Georgians in Poland2009-08-19 18:25
Georgia-friendly countries got tougher on illegal aliens from Georgia. The Poles drove Georgian refugees to a hunger strike - a characteristically Georgian one - in camp. The Turks simply deported a new group of fortune seekers abroad. Georgian officials sympathize with the compatriots but disadvise going abroad illegally.
Recently 12 Georgian illegal aliens were deported from Turkey as reported by Trend IA with reference to the Georgian Consulate. Unlucky travelers were sent to a camp for illegal migrants in Edirn town (Turkey). Seven of them had no documents. The other three were going back home to Georgia but were detained by Turkish border guards on a bus from Greece.
Georgians complained of ill-treatment by Turkish officers. But Georgian authorities will make no statements about it to Ankara. On the contrary, Moscow was severely blamed for deportation of five thousand illegal migrants from Georgia, but Turkey - no. It's politically disadvantageous. Even though this number of illegal aliens caused more problems to Russia than those 12 to Turkey Russia was tolerant to them until the time came.
Presently a protest action of Georgian illegal aliens is underway in the Polish near-border camp in Byala-Podlyaska town. Refusal to eat can't be called a "hunger strike", Head of Georgian Foreign Ministry Consular Department Paata Kalanadze said. They reject the food delivered by the camp administration. Apparently, Polish gruel is not to Georgian gourmets' liking. According to Kalanadze, they buy food in a camp shop, News Georgia reports. That means they have money to buy food stuffs. Besides, Polish press quotes border guards suspecting the migrants of having food reserves.
The protesters hope to be granted an official refugee status. According to Polish media they "locked themselves up in the territory of the camp announcing a hunger strike". But as the Polish side informs Georgian citizens entered Poland violating the visa regime. This circumstance doesn't make it possible to settle the issue. "Yesterday it was known that 7 out of 20 people were denied political asylum and are subject to deportation. But deportation is another procedure anyway", - the official explains. None of these 20 persons is a political refugee according to the information he has.
"These citizens entered Polish jurisdiction but we asked the Polish side to treat them with caution and not to use force against them", - Georgia's Ambassador to Poland Kote Kavtaradze said, Trend reports. "The Foreign Ministry and Georgian government will do their best to protect the rights of the Georgian citizens though we have fewer possibilities dealing with illegal aliens", - Paata Kalanadze confirms.
It takes half a year to consider a refugee status request, Regnum-Baltica reports with reference to TVL channel. Today over five thousand migrants from different countries expect decisions in Poland. A refugee status authorizes legal stay and work in the country.
However as Gazeta Wyborcza writes, Georgians would like to accelerate the procedure demanding meeting the local representative of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. A representative of the Administration for Foreigners in Warsaw remarked he was ready to meet rebels but he had no power to change the law. "Applications of the Georgians are considered twice faster than it is stipulated by law", - he remarked.