KRG representative in Poland accuses migrants of lying and harming KRG reputation

Migrants at the Belarusian-Polish border in the Grodno region.Leonid Shcheglov / BELTA / AFP

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SULAIMANI — Representative of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in Poland Ziad Rauf on Wednesday (November 10) accused Kurdish migrants on Belarus-Poland border of telling falsehoods to European officials that have harmed the reptation of the KRG.

Rauf told Voice of America (VOA) that as he has heard from the Polish authorities and European observers about what the migrants are telling to officials to justify their emigration, many of which he characterized as "inaccurate and unfair.”

He claimed that some of the migrants said that they are journalists who will be arrested and tortured if they stay in the Kurdistan Region and that others said that the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) had forced them to fight against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

"They have fabricated many other stories that the mind does not accept,” he added.

Rauf said that there are no official statistics for how many Kurdish migrants are in Poland, but that there are nearly 1,200 with Iraqi passports and most are Kurds.

Thousands of people from Iraq and the Kurdistan Region have left over the past year in an attempt to reach Europe, most recently taking advantage of a new route through Belarus.

Many are currently stranded on Belarus’ border caught between Belarusian authorities trying to use them against European countries that have been critical of Minsk’s human rights records and European Union countries trying to prevent irregular migration.

(NRT Digital Media)

This story was updated at 3:15 p.m. EBL