Polish soldier deserted, accuses army of killing migrants – Workers World
Polish soldier Emil Czeczko, who served at the border with orders to prevent migrants from crossing from Belarus to Poland, fled through a barbed wire fence on December 17 and sought asylum in Belarus. In a TV interview, Czeczko said he fled because Polish troops shot and killed some of the migrants. He said he opposed this policy.
Czeczko said special border troops forced him and other regular Polish soldiers to participate in the executions. He also told BelTa TV that two Polish volunteers, civilians who came to the aid of migrants, were killed as they tried to intervene. (tinyurl.com/29zmtkau)
The migrants fly to Minsk, Belarus, mainly from Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq and Yemen, to try to migrate to the European Union because their families cannot survive at home. Scenes of Polish troops installing barbed wire and firing water cannons to stop them were shown on television around the world from mid-November.
Czeczko’s accusation that Polish forces used lethal force against migrants prompted requests from Belarusian and Russian government officials for an international investigation by the United Nations or human rights organizations related to his accusations. They accused the Polish government of refusing to answer questions about the border incidents.
The wars waged or supported by the United States and NATO in the countries of origin of migrants have created an unlivable situation for millions of people. Sanctions imposed by the United States continue to weigh on the economies of these countries.
The EU has erected barriers to migrants trying to survive. Hundreds of migrants die every year trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea when their overloaded boats sink. Others die crossing borders.
Poland is a member of NATO, beholden to US and European imperialism, and serves them by obstructing migration and providing military bases that threaten Belarus and Russia. The reactionary government of Poland represses opponents and persecutes anyone who defends communism. New statues were erected of historic Polish fascist officers.
The following quote is an excerpt from a report from Czeczko’s interview on BelTa TV, published on December 17 in the English section of the Belarusian news agency eng.belta.by. During the interview, Emil Czeczko was asked how these people [migrants] behaved before the execution, if they said anything at the time. “I’m sorry, I don’t want to talk about it. Some were crying; others were screaming. Some were just standing,” he replied.
Another question was whether they should “finish off” the wounded. Emil Czeczko said: “I heard that there were people who needed to be finished. And what else could we do; should they have been buried alive? They said: finish them off!
Commenting on the report that he was caught driving drunk some time ago, the Polish serviceman said sarcastically: “Okay, I fled through the barbed wire, because my permit was taken away from me. A nice story ! Well, yes, an ordinary drunkard. . . As I said, the soldiers were given a huge amount of alcohol whenever they were forced to participate. And then they said I was driving under the influence of alcohol.
As BelTA reported, the Polish serviceman said in the interview that at one point cars with border guards started arriving at his place of duty and taking his comrades with them. Emil Czeczko and another soldier were taken away first. Along the way, we offered them a drink.
When they got there, they saw several people. “One of them asked another border guard if he should reload the gun. And when we asked why, they told us to reload our guns and pointed their guns at our heads to force us to fire. We were drunk patrolling the border for the first time. We grabbed a man who was alone, took him into the forest, dug a hole and right in front of our eyes the border guards shot him in the head, ”Czeczko said.
According to Emil Czeczko, volunteers and migrants were among those killed by Polish border guards. He said he witnessed at least two instances where Polish border guards shot a volunteer for asking where they were taking refugees. “There hasn’t been a single case where the migrants we brought were not killed. We would always kill them.
Catalinotto is the author of “Turn the Guns Around: Mutinies Soldier Revolts and Revolutions” on grassroots GI opposition to the US role in Vietnam. We do not know at this time whether there is widespread opposition among Polish soldiers to the performance of punitive duties against civilians.