The messenger logo

Georgians involved in train hijack

By Salome Modebadze
Thursday, December 17
A train was seized by more than 200 foreign refugees in Legnica, Poland on December 15. According to Russian sources the Georgian and Russian refugees who hijacked the train wanted to complain to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg about the difficult conditions in refugee shelters in Poland. They reached the border between Poland and Germany before the Polish Government stopped the train and started a dialogue with them.

The residents of the Radov Immigration Shelter, who had applied for refugee status, tried to cross the German border illegally in a train from Wroclaw to Dresden. 31 Georgian citizens were among them. They were not allowed to cross the border as they didnít have tickets and didnít want to buy them. The Georgians, like the others, demanded refugee status and refused to leave the train as they were afraid of deportation.

After a long dialogue with Polish officials some passengers left the train voluntarily while others were forced to. Polish officials state that no one was injured. The passengers were all sent to different refugee shelters. The refugees told international media that the only reason they had tried to escape was the terrible conditions in their shelter. They complained about living conditions and nutrition.

The Georgian Embassy states that reports that Georgian citizens participated in the hijack are absolutely untrue, maintaining that the Georgians were merely passengers on the train. ďAll the 230 passengers are waiting for the immigration court to define their future fate, but all of them, including the 31 Georgian citizens, will probably be sent to shelters first,Ē stated Konstantine Kavtaradze, Georgian Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Poland.