Belarusians file most asylum applications in Poland

Belarusians have been responsible for most political asylum applications in Poland this year, according to the country’s Office for Foreigners (UdSC).

According to a UdSC report presented on Monday, for the first half-year there were 1,700 refugee applications filed in Poland, 27 percent more than for the same period in 2020.

Belarusians filed 667 applications, Russians 465, Afghans 140, Ukrainians 112 and Turks 50, the UdSC said.

In total, 391 were granted international protection in Poland. In comparison with a general approval rate of 39 percent in the case of Belarusians the approval rate was 100 percent.

“The total average recognition rate for all completed proceedings was 39 percent. All substantive decisions issued since August 2020 towards Belarusians were positive,” the UdSC emphasised. During the asylum application procedure, foreigners benefit from social accommodations, meals and social healthcare.

“A foreigner is granted international protection (in the form of a refugee status or complementary protection) if he is at risk of persecution, loss of life or health in his country of origin. Each application is considered individually by the UdSC, which analyses individual cases in detail in order to check whether a given person should be granted protection,” the report stated.

For almost a year, Belarus has been gripped by mass protests against the Alexander Lukashenko regime, with hundreds of his opponents detained and many exiled. The head of the regime, who has ruled Belarus for 25 years, claims to have won a presidential election last summer, but his critics and the West say the vote was rigged.