Authorities invite Polish journalists to Belarus’ side of border to cover migrant crisis

12.11.2021 Source: By BelaPAN

The Belarusian information ministry said on Wednesday that Polish journalists were welcome to come to Belarus’ side of the shared border to cover a worsening migrant crisis.

In a statement on its website, the ministry said that it was “ready to assist in securing an invitation for employees of Polish media outlets to the Belarusian side of the border.”

The ministry said that Belarus’ authorities were considering options for quickly accrediting representatives of a number of Polish media outlets and bringing them to the border.

“We believe that such steps will contribute to the objective and comprehensive presentation of information from the site where refugees have amassed and will prevent the spread of blatant disinformation,” the ministry said.

The ministry expressed indignation at the Polish authorities’ decision to bar media outlets from the border area. It described the ban as “a gross violation of journalists’ right to carry out their professional activities.” 

On November 8, a large group of migrants, presumably from Iraqi Kurdistan, attempted to force their way into Poland from the territory of Belarus near the Bruzhi/Kuźnica Białostocka crossing. They settled in a makeshift camp on the Belarusian side of the border for the night.

On November 9, Belarus’ State Border Committee (SBC) reported that the migrants’ physical and psychological condition was “extremely difficult and low.” “There is not enough water and food,” the SBC said. “There are no minimal conditions for daily hygiene procedures in the camp. The situation is complicated by the presence of a significant number of pregnant women and infants among the refugees, who have to sleep on the ground with temperatures close to zero [degrees Celsius].”