The Polish interior ministry has said the country is considering creating a “container village” camps for asylum seekers, taking inspiration from the Hungarian government’s policy.Polish Interior Minister Mariusz Błaszczak discussed the proposal during an interview with Radio ZET, saying the government was looking into setting up the camps in preparation for a possible emergency migrant situation. He added it was conceivable that Poland could be flooded with migrants in the near future, newspaper Dziennik Gazeta Prawna reports.
Błaszczak noted that “such camps are, for example, in Germany”. He cited German Chancellor Angela Merkel who said there were too many asylum seekers in cities. “In this regard, they are politely arguing that they wish to move them to the countryside,” the interior minister said.
He noted the recent fire at the Grande-Synthe migrant camp in Dunkirk as a reason to have guards present at migrant camps.
Błaszczak was asked whether it was true Muslims would have no chance of claiming asylum in Poland. “Yes it is, but we care about safety. We are aware that the migrant crisis is a fact, and that the crisis intensifies the evil that is happening in Western Europe and thus is conducive to terrorist attacks.”
The minister slammed the European Union, which has sought to redistribute migrants from Italy and Greece to Poland, saying: “We do not agree on the mechanisms that attract waves of migration and this is the fundamental issue.”
Some have been fiercely critical of the idea of copying the Hungarian policy according to newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza who claim migrants would be housed in containers surrounded by barbed wire and guards.
Human rights groups like the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights (HFHR) have also complained about the proposal with lawyer Marty Górczyńskiej claiming the conditions of the migrant camps would be like a prison. The HFHR claim the actual numbers of migrants, most of whom come from Chechnya, has only amounted to 972 people in the first three months of 2017.
Lawyers at the Association for Legal Intervention believe the government could face legal challenges if it decides to go ahead with the move. Hungary, which has already created container villages along its Serbian border, has also faced legal obstacles and lost several cases relating to a pregnant woman and several underage migrants.
Both Hungary and Poland have been threatened by the EU with political and financial punitive measures, with a diplomatic source telling The Times that the Viségrad nations could face possible expulsion from the political bloc if they continue to refuse to take migrants.