Poland’s Sejm extends emergency state declared amid migration crisis on border with Belarus

The majority of Polish MPs supported the proposal to prolong the current state of emergency in a number of places in the vicinity of the Belarusian-Polish border. 237 deputies voted in favour of its being adopted, 179 – afainst, 31 abstained.

On September 30, Poland’s President Andrzej Duda signed corresponding a motion to the lower house of parliament. The special regime has been extended for two months.

“Sejm voted to approve the extension of a state of emergency on Poland’s border with Belarus amidst rising illegal migration pressure orchestrated by the Belarusian regime as it attempts to destabilise the EU,” Sejm said on Twitter.

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The decision to declare a state of emergency on the territory of Podlaskie and Lubelskie voivodeships was published on September 2. According to the presidential office, it was made due to the particular threat to citizens and public order, which is associated with the situation on the state border between Poland and Belarus. The government justifies the need for a state of emergency by the fact of the Lukashenka regime’s waging a hybrid war against the European Union and Poland in particular.

The decree does the following:

  • It suspends the right to organize and conduct meetings, public events, and cultural and entertainment events in the area of emergency, even if they are not mass.
  • Citizens over the age of 18 and staying in the state of emergency zone are required to have a document proving their identity, for those under 18s – a school certificate.
  • Staying in certain places, facilities, and areas at certain times is prohibited.
  • Using technical means to record certain places, objects, and territories becomes illegal.
  • Possession of firearms, ammunition, explosives becomes restricted, carrying them becomes prohibited.
  • Access to the public information about the activities carried out in the state of emergency zone in connection with protecting the state border and combating illegal migration becomes restricted.

The area covered by the state of emergency is 183 locations within three kilometers of the border with Belarus.

As reported earlier, in response to Western sanctions imposed on the regime in 2021, Alyaksandr Lukashenka threatened to loosen control over the flow of migrants and banned substances (even nuclear materials) at the border with the European Union. Unfortunately, he is sticking to his word, and the scale of the hybrid aggression waged by the Belarusian authorities has resulted in the growth of the flow of irregular migration.

This week, the Polish Defense Ministry has decided to build posts on the border based on the Hesco Bastion system.

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