bne IntelliNews – Poland extends state of emergency on the border with Belarus until the end of November

The Polish parliament decided on September 30th to extend the state of emergency on the border with Belarus until the end of November.

Poland is grappling with a steep increase in the number of people trying to cross from Belarus. In September alone, the Polish border guards recorded around 6,000 border crossing attempts, 60 times more than in the whole of 2020.

Poland says the influx of migrants, mostly from the Middle East and South Asia, is a deliberate act by Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenka to wreak havoc on the EU’s eastern flank. Lithuania and Latvia have also tried to curb the influx of migrants.

Parliament approved a motion by President Andrzej Duda by 237 to 179, with 31 abstentions. A state of emergency can only be extended once for a maximum of 60 days.

Poland’s government claims the state of emergency is necessary to curb the influx of migrants who could pose a threat to the Polish state and its citizens.

“In one of the telephones [intercepted from migrants], [we] found the number of a person who was arrested in one of the EU countries on August 22nd. According to the databases of our allies, this person was involved in the preparation of a terrorist attack in the EU and is a fighter for the Islamic State, ”said Interior Minister Mariusz. Kaminski told Parliament.

Earlier this week, Kaminski hosted a press conference attempting to portray migrants as dangerous by showing pictures – allegedly found on migrants’ cell phones – of a man who had sexual intercourse with a horse and another man who appeared to be a minor Girl groped. Other pictures also showed connections between the migrants and the Islamic State or the Taliban.

The government’s allegations have proven difficult to confirm as media and NGOs have been banned from the border area due to the state of emergency regulations.

Opposition parties, some media outlets and NGOs claim that Poland is violating international law by not allowing migrants to seek protection once they have been intercepted on Polish territory. The Polish border guards are also accused, with military aid, of having pushed the migrants back to Belarus, where they are stuck right at the border, as the Belarusian soldiers will not let them back any further. The opposition and NGOs were

Gdzie są dzieci z Michałowa?
Prezydent Duda, Prime Minister Morawiecki and Minister Kamiński powinni szukać ich tam, gdzie zostały wywiezione przez Straż Graniczną.
Ale po to wam właśnie stan wyjątkowy, byśmy nie dowiedzieli się, co się z nimi stało. Wstyd i hańba!

– Franek Sterczewski (@f_sterczewski) September 30, 2021

that among the migrants pushed back to Belarus there are also children.

The temperature in the area has dropped below 10 ° C at night. At least Five migrants have died in the border area due to exposure, and it was unclear how Poland had treated them after crossing from Belarus. The government claims it helps everyone in need of medical care.

Poland is refusing to help the Poland-based EU border protection agency Frontex, which could shed more light on the situation.

“Poland has been working actively with Frontex since the beginning of the crisis and is in constant contact with its leadership,” said Kaminski on Twitter after a meeting with EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson on September 30 in Warsaw.

However, earlier that day, Deputy Interior Minister Blazej Poboży told state broadcaster TVP Info that Frontex has no staff on site and is largely an administrative authority.

Poland has the influx a. called “Hybrid war” of Belarusian President Lukashenka in response to the EU sanctions against his regime following the rigged presidential elections last year.

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