German police hold van with 31 Iraqis

Police in Germany have held a transport van with migrants close to the border with Poland. The van had crossed the border from Poland just before.

When the officers opened the sliding door, they saw 31 people sitting on the loading floor: nineteen men, two women and ten children. They all have Iraqi nationality. Some of them were bad about it. The kids wore worn worn, damp shoes. Some were wounded at their feet.

The driver was a 34-year-old Pool. He‘s been apprehended, presumably for smuggling. The Iraqis have been taken to an application center.

Since last summer, the number of migrants arriving in Germany through Poland has increased rapidly. It is particularly Iraqis, Iranians, Syrians and Yemenites who enter the EU via the Belarus border and Poland.

EU countries accuse Belarusian President Lukashenko of letting thousands of migrants cross the border with EU countries. Those migrants would be actively picked up in countries like Iraq and Afghanistan, in retaliation for the sanctions Western countries imposed against Belarus in connection with human rights violations in June.

EU leaders said yesterday in Brussels that they were putting pressure on Lukashenko to stop doing so. New sanctions may follow if he doesn’t.