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Govt adopts draft amendment to the act on the protection of state border

The government, on Monday, adopted a draft amendment to the act on the protection of the state border to help ensure the effectiveness of the Border Guard and, under conditions, allow journalists access to the Polish-Belarusian border area, the PM’s Office said.

The statement of the Prime Minister Office emphasised that “migration pressure is still visible on the Polish-Belarusian section of the border”. “At the same time, incidents, including with the use of weapons, provoked by the Belarusian services are increasing. Therefore, in order to ensure the effectiveness of the Border Guard’s actions, it will be possible to introduce – for a limited period – a ban on staying in areas along the border that are particularly exposed to this type of activity”.

“The security of the Border Guard officers themselves will also improve, and journalists will be able to work in the border area on special terms,” the statement read.

“I suppose they (the media to be granted access – PAP) will be nationwide television stations, not local ones,” said earlier on Monday deputy parliamentary speaker Ryszard Terlecki, .

According to the PM office’s statement, companies which conduct business in the restricted area could be reimbursed by the government.

Since the beginning of the year, the Border Guard recorded over 33,000 attempts to illegally cross the Polish-Belarusian border. The 30-day state of emergency was introduced on September 2 in Podlasie and Lublin regions, and prolonged for another 60 days.

Under Poland’s constitution, a state of emergency can only be prolonged once, and that option has already been used up.

According to the government, a new legislation is needed to allow the Border Guard and the military to manage the on-going migration crisis.


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