The Polish authorities have sent tens of thousands of text messages to mobile phones in Belarus. Warsaw is thus trying to discourage migrants who want to travel to Poland. “The Polish border is closed. The authorities in Belarus have told you lies. Go back to Minsk”, says in the text message. Everyone in the border area who is in possession of a mobile phone receives the message.

Furthermore, the text says that the migrants run the risk of being locked up if they do cross the border, because it is illegal migration. A link has been added to the text message to websites with explanations in Arabic, English, Russian and French about the Polish policy for illegal migrants.

Thousands of migrants, especially from the Middle East, have tried to enter the EU countries of Poland, Latvia and Lithuania from Belarus in recent months. The regime of Belarusian leader Lukashenko is letting them through unhindered in retaliation for EU sanctions. The three countries have declared a state of emergency, placed fences and deployed the army.

The Polish authorities reported this week that they have stopped 8,200 migrants trying to enter Poland since the beginning of August. About 12,000 migrants managed to cross the border. They have been imprisoned. Polish customs reported that 473 migrants have been stopped at the border on Tuesday alone.

Last year, Belarus was subjected to numerous punitive measures for the brutal suppression of the protest movement in the country. This was the result of the election victory, according to the EU, stolen by president Aleksandr Lukashenko a year ago. Lukashenko retaliated by, among other things, bringing Iraqi migrants to his country and crossing the border with EU countries Lithuania, Poland and Latvia. He also ended cooperation with the EU to combat illegal migration and return migrants who are not welcome in the Union.

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