June 8, 2023


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Belarus is bringing in immigration charters to put pressure on the EU

They are quickly spotted in the small departure hall of Beirut Airport. Young men without suitcases, with a small bag on their feet. They do not have the urgent appearance of a passenger rushing through security checks. Arrived hours earlier. This Tuesday, November 9th, they are getting ready to leave for Minsk. By direct flight with the Belarusian company Belavia.

Ammar (first name changed), a Syrian in his twenties, hastily says he is going to the Belarusian capital. “As a Tourist”. “Look, I have a return ticket”, He spreads out the printed sheet and adds. “Exiters will not speak”, He had warned a tour operator – a gun at his desk and a dollar in hand – that this new target had become a bonus for him.

Read more The article is reserved for our subscribers The European Union (EU) has accused Belarus of playing with the lives of immigrants

Ammar talks a little. Like a young Syrian refugee living in Lebanon, he is not the only one who claims to have a passion for tourism in Belarus – in other words, with very limited resources. Then he finally agrees. Yes, he will try his luck and approach the castle of Europe. The waiting hotel in Belarus is booked with a tour operator near Beirut. For the visa, he went through the Honorary Ambassador of Belarus in Lebanon with his own travel agency. Everything is in order, he insists. This is the essence of the worst game ever to travel from the Middle East to Belarus: legal origin. Ammar did not hide it: these “Networks” Who was waiting for him once there. It is part of the Panoply.

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Read more The article is reserved for our subscribers On the border between Poland and Belarus, hell for immigrants

Already a down jacket

We are talking about those who died on the border of Belarus and Poland. “But what should I do? Stay here? What is my future here?” – Lebanon plunges into economic and financial catastrophe. Ammar travels with other countrymen. Laughter erupts between excitement and tension. We take the picture ourselves. Then comes the moment to say goodbye. Long warmth with relatives in Lebanon. Tears well up. At the end of the road, who knows what he will find?

Hasan, who is in Germany, wants to trust Hassan, who hopes to join his relatives there, Syrians like him. The forty-year-old leaves his wife and children in Lebanon, where he worked as a laborer for a long time – “We were fine before the crisis.” He leaves for them, for him. He measures risk. He did not disappoint: Belarus did not open its doors by grace. Whatever: a road is open towards a little stability.

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