Polish court finds in favour of its border guards


The District Court in the Polish city of Zgozhelets has rejected the claim brought by Ukrainian national Irina Fris against Polish border guards and declared that the actions of officers of the Luzhytsky Department of the Polish Border Guard Service in detaining her on 7 January this year for entering Poland without an entry visa were lawful. The information was provided by the Director of the Ukrainian Honorary Consulate in Wroclaw, Edward Bonsevich, who took part in the hearing. Ms Fris is planning to appeal against the ruling.

He said that the court had listened to the legal arguments given by the Border Guard Service which confirm that Ms Fris needed a transit visa for crossing Polish territory. He added that the court had failed to take into account the fact that Article 18 of the Schengen Convention from 1965 which the Polish border guards named as their grounds for detaining Ms Fris applies only to long-term national visas (over 3 months), whereas Irina Fris had a shorter, two-month visa.

Mr Bonsevich pointed out that the court hearing had taken place without a lawyer, although one had been requested both by the Ukrainian General Consulate in Krakow and Irina Fris herself after the court refused the consulate. He believes that a lawyer might have changed the course of the hearing.

He added that the court had instructed the district Prosecutor to whom Irina Fris had previously turned to carry out an investigation into her allegations of pressure, threats and indecent and offensive words used by some of the border guards.

As reported yesterday, Irina Fris had accused the Polish border guards of exceeding their duties, putting pressure on her and of impolite treatment

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