Black Portuguese citizens held at Ukraine-Poland border

Written By Lara Silva

There have been reports on social media of young Black Portuguese refugees being held at the border with Poland by Ukrainian officers and not being allowed to evacuate the war zone. Ana Maria Costa, the mother of a Portuguese student in Ukraine revealed to RTP on Monday morning that her son has been held at the border for the last three days. Ukrainian officers are not letting her son and other Black and Asian individuals cross the border.

The hashtag #AfricansInUkraine has been trending on social media in the past few days, as many share their racist experiences at the border. Along with being held at the border, many describe having faced racial violence at the hands of Ukrainian officers. Refugees are facing dangerous conditions at the border, without access to food, water, and shelter under extremely cold temperatures. Shocking images have been shared on social media such as a video of Ukrainian officers pushing a young Black girl off the train, as seen below.

Trigger warning racial violence

A Black young man on Twitter still at the Polish border has said that Africans are not being allowed on trains to evacuate Lviv, Ukraine. He says that the priority to board trains is given in the following order: children first, women second, white men third, and only after Africans.

The PM of Portugal has yet to comment on the racist treatment of Black Portuguese citizens at the border. Costa announced on Thursday that any Ukrainians who have family, friends, and acquaintances in Portugal are welcome in the country.

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