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Putting a Stop to Ukrainian Border Beatings

December 16, 2010

If you’re looking to be beaten, abused and treated inhumanely, then book a flight to any country that borders the Ukraine. One you arrive at your destination, all you need to do is cross the border and you’ll receive your wish. A new report from Human Rights Watch documents this type of treatment towards migrants and asylum seekers.

More than half of the migrants interviewed who had been returned from Slovakia and Hungary said that they were beaten or subjected to ill-treatment in Ukraine. Most had tried to seek asylum in Hungary or Slovakia, but said their claims had been ignored and they were quickly expelled. Both countries also expelled unaccompanied children.

According to an Iraqi man:

The treatment was savage. They beat us and kicked us and abused us verbally. They also electric shocked me. They shocked me on my ears. I admitted that I wanted to cross the border and that we were smuggled…. I felt my heart was going to stop. I was sitting on a chair. I just admitted everything, but they didn’t stop torturing me.

And a 17-year-old Afghan boy:

We passed the Slovakia border, but we were caught. We asked the police to help us. After one day and one night we were deported….I could not understand the paper I signed…. I’m scared to talk about Ukrainian soldiers at the border. They beat us a lot. They beat us to speak Russian. As soon as they took us they started beating us…. It was nighttime…. We walked to another room. A man in civilian clothes was just beating me. “How did you pass the border?” He took us one at a time. He kicked me and also hit me with a police stick and punched me for an hour, beating me the whole time. At first it was just him, then three or four others in uniform hit.

Since it’s the Christmas season over here in the United States, and Ukrainian border guards appear as if they like beating things, I’ll send them piñatas in return, so they can beat those rather than human beings because, you know, that’s not cool.

These people are looking for help and a better life. Just because they may not be doing it legally does not give anyone the right to abuse them in any manner. The Ukrainian border guards should do their jobs, but they should not abuse their power.

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