Poland plans to extend border emergency over migrants
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Warsaw (AFP) –
Poland's interior minister on Monday asked for a state of emergency along the border with Belarus to be extended for 60 days despite objections from charities and media groups.
The emergency measures adopted earlier this month to cope with an influx of migrants ban all non-residents, including journalists and charity workers, from going near the border.
"I will recommend to the government the extension of the state of emergency on the Polish-Belarusian border," Interior Minister Mariusz Kaminski said at a press conference.
Kaminski also warned that dozens of the migrants detained so far by Polish authorities "were carrying proof of radicalism", including links to the Taliban and the Islamic State group.
He said some of the migrants had also been living in Russia.
The ministry said a total of 8,200 people have been prevented from crossing the border and 1,200 have done so and been detained.
Non-governmental groups have warned of a humanitarian crisis for migrants crossing the border as temperatures begins to dip and have asked for access to provide medical assistance.
They have also accused the government of implementing a pushback policy, preventing the migrants from making asylum claims and forcing them back across the border into Belarus.
Six migrants have died along the European Union's eastern border with Belarus in the last two months.
The EU accuses Belarus of deliberately orchestrating the influx of migrants in retaliation against EU sanctions over the Moscow-backed regime's crackdown on dissent.
© 2021 AFP