REFUGEES stuck in Libya have hit out at European governments’ treatment of non-white refugees following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
At least 368,000 people have reached the boarders of Poland, Hungary, Romania and Moldova from Ukraine, the United Nation’s refugee agency (UNHCR) said today.
Government agencies across the continent expressed solidarity with Ukrainian refugees over the weekend, sharing images of the country’s blue and yellow flag on social media, and lighting their buildings up with the same colours.
Country’s with governments normally hostile to refugees, such as Poland and Hungary, also announced at the weekend that their militaries were on standby to help people escape the country
But footage has been shared on social media showing African, Asian and Middle Eastern people being refused entry onto trains leaving Ukraine and at the borders of the countries mentioned above.
Elsewhere, Bulgaria’s Prime Minister Kiril Petkov told reporters that the people fleeing Ukraine were “not the refugees we are used to. They are Europeans, intelligent, educated people, some are IT programmers.
“No European country is afraid on them,” he said.
And in a now-deleted tweet, Slovakia’s government communications office said: “Ukrainian refugees arrive from the environment which is, in a cultural, religious, and historical sense, something completely different from the one from which refugees from Afghanistan do.”
Refugees in Libya, a campaign group based in the country raising aware of their members’ plight, said EU governments’ willingness to welcome Ukrainian refugees but not people like them has revealed their hidden racism.
“They claim that Ukrainians are different, [they’re] IT programmers [with] a well-known history, not like Africans whose past are sealed with poverty.
“Ukrainians are now welcomed to countries that shut [their] doors to refugees from the middle east, and Africa.
“Eastern Europe had a rare disease which refused Syrians, Iraqis, Afghans and others. now same disease is able to widespread their arms for Ukrainians.
“We call on all relevant authorities to let African refugees into Poland like any other refugee. They were in Ukraine for education [and] lived under all legal procedures until [they were] forced to flee by [Russian President Vladimir] Putin’s invasion.”
Meanwhile, eight days after they rescued 129 people in the Mediterranean Sea, the Sea-Watch 4 rescue ship was finally able to disembark the survivors in Porto Empedocle, on the Italian island of Sicily.
Top image shows a screenshot of people waiting on the Ukrainian side of the Poland-Ukraine border