1965 to 2009 .......... I travelled to Polamd for the first time on 1st Feb 1965 on a very cold wintry daye, with -20 degrees on the thermometer... in the 44 or so years boder crossing into and ut of Poland were uneventful.....right through till the 26th Aug 2009, when I arrived at 10 am on flight LO 751 from Kiev
Oct 2009 On the 7th Oct, on joining flight KL 1366 at 5 pm, a Border Guard told me that I would have to remove my turban for the security check - thinking that he was mistaken, I asked him to check me as per usual (metal detector & hand pat down) but he said no - so I asked to be taken to his Senior, named Marciniak. We had a pleasant conversation and Marcinaik was genuinly unsure about Sikh turbans, as confirmed by Marcianiak in Court. We exchnaged pleasantries and he suggested that I write my concerns down, leter adddressed to the Komandent Straz Graniczna, which I did, also confirmed by Wiecki in Court. (LETTER no. 1)
10th Oct 2009 flt LO319 Warsaw - Milan, encountered Messrs Rosowski & Ceteuski, who asked that I remove my turban without first conducting ay other check; after remonstrating with them for 20 mins, and assuming that my previous represntations with Marciak & The Komandent, had not yet reached these two, I had no aloterative but to have the turban passed through the scanner on the same tray that usually boots are also placed - a further insult. This resulted in my writing LETTER no.2, and asking for a meeting with the Authorities
14th Oct 2009 Meeting at Ul Podchirazy with Juzwiak to whom I offerred all explanatons about the insult to Sikhs when unreasonable demand is made. I followed this up with LETTER no.3
18th Oct 2009 & 10th Nov 2009 - passed through without demaning checks and assumed (wrongly !!) that the Border Gurad had indeed taken account of my (and other Sikhs) complaints
8th Dec 2009 Flt OS 626 Warsaw to Vienna - to my surprise back to the old demand - remove or else - after strong remonstrtaions with unnamed guards, who made the non intrusive checks travelled on my journey.The CCTV recording of this incident shows Nuns passing through the checks with no demand that they remove their head coverings ! While in Court the Gurads insisted that they ask every one to remove their head covering even Nuns - clealry they do not... After this even I again wrote asking that we need to have a dialogue LETTER no. 4
15th Dec 2009 Flt L) 751 Warsaw - Kiev; this was a TARGETTED ASSAULT - Kolodziej & Kuras (the latter appears again & again..) were clearly in wait for me - my letters usualy faxed to the aiport Guard office, as well as to the HO, meant that they knew I was coming... as confimed by Kolodziej in Court and also by the head of that shift, Kruszewski. On this day the Guard decided to "show me" who is boss... in the worst nightmarish behaviour of intimidation, Kolodziej and Kuras would not make any check other than "remove that turban..." Armed and intimidating, they harassed me untill there was no option but to concede to their demands. At the ed of this ordeal imagine the next step - they also demanded that I pay a fine - 500 zl - marching me to the currency exchnage counter to make me draw the funds... the depth to which the Border Guard as an instituion went to on this occassion should be a salutary reminder to all travellers that such louts who have been empowered by the State should be ashemd to themselves. The sequence was recorded on CCTV - the actual intimidation was carried out in the area where there are no CCTV cameras - something that these two hideous person were aware of.
Dec 2009 to May 2010 - the last experince at the hands of these loutish Polish Border Guards meant that there was no option but to start a real effort at curbing them. As a result. a number of Senior Polish & International figures wrote to the Polish Authorities asking for explanations as why it was necessary to humilate Siksh travellers. (See panel to the right-->)
Did any of these interventions have any effect on the Komandent of the Polish Border Guard to understand the severity of his soldiers mis conduct ???
1st June 2010 2nd Meeitng held with the officials of the Border Guard after writing LETTER no. 5, accompanied by the President of the Sik Gurudwara in Warsaw. After a good discussion with two albeit junior officials, Felisiak & Kucharski, a joint Memo of Understanding was agreed based on a large number of informative documentation submitted on the importance of the Sikh turban, as well as Guidance used by the US TSA, by the UK Security agencies, publications in the International Airline Security journals; The Border Gurad agreed to take these into account in their dealings with Sikhs.
7th June 2010 -
And here is what one Border Guard says of their own behaviour .... harassment on the border crossing to Lviv, Ukraine ................see the e-forum of the BorderGurad
autor: ezis » 12 wrz 2011 09:07
Polish Ambassador in India
British Amnassador in Poland
Under Secretary of State in the Polish Ministry of Environment
Lord Tarsem, House of Lords UK Parliament
Dr Indarjit Singh (now Lord Singh of Wimbledon, House of Lords, UK), Director Network of Sikh Organisations
Chairman of Organising Committee of the 42nd Congress of the International Association of Hydrogeologuists, Krakow Poland
Jacek Najder under Secretary of State, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Poland
The Helsnki Foundation, Warsaw
The Sikh Council of the UK
Sikh Sewa Academy of the UK
The President of the Sikh Gurdawara in Warsaw
Many more individuals
chamskie zachowanie straży granicznej
... byłem świadkiem opisanej sytuacji, było to chyba 08 lipca br. około 6 rano, na Okęciu do DWÓCH otwartych bramek była kolejka wychodząca na zewnątrz budynku ... ów Sikh stał w kolejce kiedy przyszła jego kolej nie chciał zdjąć turbana wówczas bardzo mało uprzejmie pracownicy straży granicznej zaczęli krzyczeć na niego "koleś nie polecić" zachowanie straży granicznej było bardzo naganne wręcz chamskie !!! byli bardzo nieuprzejmi, nikt z tym Sikh nie rozmawiał tylko palcem pokazywał drzwi z okrzykiem „koleś nie słyszysz ty już nie lecisz” całe szczęście stałem w drugiej kolejce bo zrobił się tam zator
see... press report
and this ...
S.G.to nie zniewaga
Jako dosc czesty pasazer samolotow i tym samym rowniez polskich lotnisk z ubolewaniem musze stwierdzic,ze standard dokonywanych kontroli przez polska Straz Graniczna,razaco odbiega od standardow swiatowych! Polscy straznicy wykazuja bardzo mala kulture osobista przy wykonywaniu swoich czynnosci kontrolnych,a w wielu wypadkach sa ordynarni i zlosliwi.Jest rzecza wiadoma,ze ich dzialania sa skierowane na zabezpieczenia pasazerom bezpiecznego lotu,ale nie moze sie to odbywac przy pomocy chamskiego obmacywania z komentarzami.Do kontroli osobistych winny byc wydzielone pomieszczenia,oraz jak na zachodzie srodki techniczne,a nie tylko brudne rece straznika.
..see press report