Kurdish boy with amputated legs among migrants stuck at Belarus border

·2-min read

By Natalia Oriol

(Reuters) - A nine-year old Kurdish boy who has had both legs amputated is among the thousands of migrants stranded in freezing conditions on the Belarusian border with Poland trying to cross into the European Union.

Taman, wearing a light anorak, is camping out with his parents, his 11-year old brother and seven-month old sister near the border fence where Polish security forces are trying to prevent https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/poland-turns-water-cannon-rock-throwing-migrants-border-2021-11-16 the migrants from crossing.

"We are here for eight days. It's very cold here... We came here from Iraq for my son Taman. I want to take my family to a country where our rights will be protected," said his father Sangar.

"As a family we are in a very difficult position. We came here, so far, with him, like this... We are calling on everybody who can help us... I want my son Taman to live in a beautiful place."

Speaking to Reuters in Iraq, Sangar's uncle Jwamar said the boy had been born with a bone disease and that a hospital in Germany had offered to help, but the family was unable to get visas to travel.

Doctors in Iraq then decided to amputate Taman's legs.

Jwamar said the family had travelled from Iraq to Minsk via Dubai and had reached the Polish border on Nov. 8, hoping to make their way from there to Germany.

Polish security forces used water cannon on migrants who threw rocks across the border, video footage shared by authorities showed on Tuesday.

Poland and other European countries accuse Belarus https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/eu-step-up-sanctions-belarus-over-escalating-border-crisis-2021-11-15 of encouraging the migrants to attempt to cross illegally into the EU via its territory in revenge for Western sanctions imposed on Minsk for human rights abuses.

Belarus blames the West for the humanitarian disaster that is building on its border with Poland.

An estimated 4,000 migrants are at the border and many say Belarusian authorities are not allowing them to return to Minsk.

(Natalia Oriol reporting from Gdansk; Writing by Gareth Jones; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)

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