On August 1, 2022, volunteers helping refugees from Ukraine at the Tesco Humanitarian Aid Center in Przemysl, a Polish city on the border with Ukraine, told ADC Memorial that when Ukrainian refugees board the Przemysl-Hannover humanitarian train, Roma are placed in a separate carriage where there are no other refugees besides them.
“The Przemysl-Hannover train remains the only free option to move from Poland to Western Europe. Three weeks ago, when we started helping the station workers and the train crew to board refugees, we noticed that Roma travel separately from the rest of the passengers. They are placed in a separate carriage when there is no one besides them. As it turned out, that is a rule that was introduced by the train crew. The initiative to segregate the Roma from the rest of the refugees came from the head of the train. Non-observance of cleanliness and order in the cars, disabling toilets, and unreasonable usage of stop cranes were named as the formal reason for this measure. Whereas the informal reason for the separation was to reduce tension in the carriages where the Roma were accommodated together with other refugees. I know of multiple cases of the latter refusing to get into the same carriage or compartment with the Roma. Lately, the head of the train told to volunteers that it was strictly prohibited to accommodate the Roma people in the same carriages with the “white” Ukrainians. On a number of occasions he himself took the Ukrainians with kids out from the carriages with the Roma and provided them with more comfortable seats in different carriages” — says one of the volunteers.
According to the volunteers, recently the Polish Red Cross unofficially announced that the registrations of the Roma people at Tesco would be terminated in the nearest future. In the last 3 weeks alone, there were about 250-400 Roma in Tesco with kids comprising approximately 2/3 of them.