Poland Likely to Extend State of Emergency Near Belarus Border
(Bloomberg) -- Polish Interior Minister Mariusz Kaminski wants to extend a state of emergency along the country’s eastern border for another 60 days, to help deal with a surge in arrivals of undocumented migrants from Belarus.
Kaminski said on Monday that some migrants apprehended near the border could pose a threat to national security after evidence of links to terrorist and criminal organizations was found in 50 cases. The government will recommend that President Andrzej Duda prolong the current 30-day state of emergency, which was implemented on Sept. 2.
The decision curbs civil liberties, including press coverage, in a swathe of land of about 3 kilometers (1.9 miles) from the border. Civil society groups and journalists have blasted the government for barring access to the area after several migrants were found dead.
Read More: Poland Reports Three Dead at Belarus Border
Numbers of largely Middle Eastern migrants seeking to enter the European Union through Belarus has jumped since President Alexander Lukashenko said in May that he’d retaliate against the bloc’s sanctions on his regime. In response, the Polish government has erected a barbed-wire fence and sent thousands of troops to patrol the area.
There have been 9,400 attempts to illegally cross the Polish border from Belarus since August, Kaminski said.
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