Polish border police counted 134 attempts by refugees and migrants to cross the border in one day. They are trying to enter Poland – and thus the European Union – through neighboring Belarus. It will be about 10,000 immigrants. On Tuesday, the Polish parliament approved a law on border protection.
A spokeswoman for the Polish border police said that there are currently no more camps near the Polish border fortifications on the Belarusian side. However, the Belarusian security services regularly transport refugees to the border by trucks.
The situation remains tense and groups of people are still trying to cross the border. Polish police said a group of “hostile aliens” near the Polish border village of Sudzialo threw stones at border guards and set off metal bars and fireworks in their direction.
Meanwhile, the return flight, which was carrying Iraqi migrants and refugees, was cancelled. The reason for this is not clear. The Iraqi Airways plane was supposed to head to the city of Erbil in northern Iraq. Minsk Airport announced the cancellation via chat app Telegram.
“We will announce the end of this crisis when it is already over.”
Repatriation flights are voluntary. After all, migrants no longer see a path to the European Union. According to Marcin Przydać, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Poland, the Iraqi embassy in Moscow began organizing such trips. Over the past weekend, hundreds of people trapped in the border area were sent back to their countries of origin. However, the Polish deputy minister remained cautious on this issue. “We will announce the end of this crisis when it is actually over,” Przydać said.
The European Union accuses Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko of deliberately transporting people from crisis areas to Minsk and then redirecting them to the EU borders.
Read more at the bottom of the card.
Polish parliament allows temporary restrictions on press freedom at external borders
Poland’s parliament has passed a law allowing temporary restrictions on freedom of movement and freedom of the press at the European Union’s external borders with Belarus, Russia and Ukraine.
The law was passed against the background of the ongoing crisis involving thousands of migrants on Poland’s border with Belarus. A disguised majority of MPs voted on Tuesday in favor of the ruling populist and conservative Law and Justice party’s proposal. Opposition representatives had previously criticized the Law and Justice government’s intention to permanently deny access to critical journalists to the border area.
In early September, Poland declared a state of emergency for three kilometers along the border with Belarus. Since then, foreigners, journalists and aid organizations are no longer allowed to enter the area. The state of emergency expires at midnight on Tuesday and cannot be extended under the constitution.
An amendment to the law now provides that in the future, in the event of a dangerous situation, the Polish Minister of the Interior can ban all non-residents from entering a border area that he defines. Exceptions, especially for journalists, must be decided by the local border guard commander. The law must now be signed by Polish President Andrzej Duda.
The European Union accuses Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko of deliberately transporting people from crisis areas to Minsk and then redirecting them to the EU borders. Lukashenko himself told the Russian state news agency RIA Novosti that he told outgoing German Chancellor Angela Merkel in a phone conversation that he wanted to solve the problem before the end of the year.
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