„We were prisoners of the Polish state“

Film and discussion about detention camps for refugees in Poland

Since the summer of 2021, many people from Middle East and Africa seeking protection have been entering Poland and thus the European Union via Belarus. This new migration route leads through forests and swamps and finally a frontier that is highly equipped and shielded by border troops from Poland. A lot of people die on this way, yet it is still perceived by many as safe to reach Europe. Those caught by Polish border guards, however, face two scenarios: Being illegally pushed back to Belarus or being locked up in Polish refugee prisons.

Monday, September 11, 7:30 p.m.
Green Salon, Volksbühne, Berlin
U2 Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz

The film „We were prisoners of the Polish state“ by Wojciech Szumowski and Rut Kurkiewicz tells the stories of refugees who came to Poland and, instead of receiving protection, were locked up for months or even years under very harsh conditions. They were subjected to violence, hunger, abuse, and racism, and received no medical or psychological help. In prison, they went on hunger strike to fight for basic human rights to respect and safety.

The film was produced for the TV channel TVN24 and caused heated debates in the country when it was aired.

Rut Kurkiewicz, Filmmaker
Maria Ksiazak, XENION – Psychosocial Help for Politically Persecuted e.V.
Seerwan, survived Belarus after many pushbacks and 6 months of severe detention with his wife and children in Poland
Nazar Ibrahim, made it across the Belarusian-Polish border to Berlin

Organised by CILIP – Civil Liberties and Police; XENION – Psychosocial Help for Politically Persecuted e.V.

Image: Police Poland.

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