Poland-Belarus Migrant Crisis
Tensions on the Belarusian-Polish border flared up in November as Middle Eastern and African refugees started arriving in Belarus to cross into the EU. Warsaw claims Belarus orchestrated the crisis, while Minsk blames the Western military ops for the growing migrant flow.
Three Photojournalists Attacked by Polish Soldiers Near Belarus Border, Polish Media Group Says
WARSAW (Sputnik) - The Polish media organization Press Club Polska said on Wednesday that people in the uniform of Polish soldiers attacked three photo journalists near the border with Belarus.
"An attack on photojournalists in the village of Wiejki. On Tuesday, 16 November, at about 16:00 [13:00 GMT], a group of people in the uniform of the Polish Army attacked three photojournalists: Maciek Nabrdalik, Macieja Moskwe, and Martin Divisek while they were performing their journalistic duties," Press Club Polska said in a statement.
The reporters were shooting not far from Wiejki village, which is outside the area of the state of emergency introduced in September, and then tried to return to the village of Michalow by car, but were stopped by people in Polish army uniforms. The latter pulled them out of the car while "pushing them and using profanity," according to the statement.
The journalists, who were handcuffed and held for more than an hour until the police arrived, described their behavior as "exceptional aggression." As they waited for the police, the soldiers searched the car and checked the contents of the reporters' cameras, the group said.
Upon the arrival of the police, the journalists were released from handcuffs, but when requested to address the situation, the law enforcement officers refused to take any other action besides informing them of the possibilty of filing a criminal complaint.
The photojournalists announced their intention to do just that.
The Polish Defenxe Ministry denied that any abuse of power took place.
"We flatly disagree that it was an 'attack on photojournalists. The intervention was carried out completely in line with the mandate," the ministry said in a statement issued on Twitter.
Since earlier this month, thousands of migrants have camped along the border with Poland from the Belarusian side near the Bruzgi checkpoint in the Grodno region, in hopes of getting onto the territory of the EU. Poland has boosted border security. On Tuesday, some migrants attempted to storm the border fence, which resulted in clashes with Polish security forces.