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The Journey of Syrian and Iraqi Refugees Arriving in Europe Via Belarus

Lebanon, United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Belarus, Poland, Lithuania, Germany... Belarus has been accused of issuing tourist visas to migrants and helping them to enter Europe. How is the complete journey of migrants arriving from the Middle East to Europe via Minsk? Which role does the Belarus government play in it? What reasons force these individuals and families, including children, to embark on such a dangerous trip?

For ten days, the entire Outriders team worked on a project called #WizaDonikąd (#VisaToNowhere). We have recreated the entire route travelling simultaneously to seven countries. In Lebanon, we have interviewed some of the people who will embark on this journey, and we have filmed with a hidden camera in one of the travel agencies offering these visas and trips. From Dubai, we flew with some migrants to Minsk. In Istanbul, we check the flights going to the capital of Belarus. In Lithuania and Germany, we spoke with some of the people who had managed to enter Europe.

According to the Polish Border Guard official information, around 28,500 attempts to illegally cross the Belarusian-Polish border had been registered between August and October. Poland has sent 15,000 soldiers to guard its border with Belarus. Hundreds of people have still been stuck in the cold in forests on the Poland-Belarus border. Several people have already died trying.

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Dubai: Karolina Baca-Pogorzelska.
Germany: Marta Bloch, Tadeusz Michrowski and Andrzej Budnik.
Lebanon: Lola García-Ajofrín, Ali Alsheikh and Ahmad Alqusair.
Lithuania: Anna Gornicka and Marek Berezowski.
Minsk airport: Karolina Baca-Pogorzelska.
Poland - Belarus border: Jakub Górnicki, Tadeusz Michrowski, Karolina Baca-Pogorzelska, Marek Berezowski.
Turkey: Julia Alekseeva.
Content coordination: Jakub Górnicki and Zuza Olejniczak.
Translations: Grzegorz Kurek and Ali Alzheikh.
Illustration: Lorena Barrios.
Coordination of the multimedia report: Lola García-Ajofrín and Piotr Kliks
Design and development: Piotr Kliks.
Communication: Stanislaw Pawelek.