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Thursday, February 2, 2023

Polish media angry about Belarusian border ban

Warsaw, Poland-Dozens of Polish news media have expressed anger at the media ban on the Belarusian border as part of a state of emergency implemented by Warsaw following the influx of immigrants.

In recent months, thousands of migrants-mainly from the Middle East-have crossed or attempted to cross the border from Belarus into the eastern EU member states Latvia, Lithuania and Poland.

The EU suspects that the Belarusian strongman Alexander Lukashenko deliberately orchestrated a massive influx in retaliation for the EU’s increasingly severe sanctions against his regime.

Poland responded to the refugee tide by sending thousands of soldiers to the border. Earlier this month, Poland implemented a 30-day emergency measure to prohibit non-residents, including journalists, from entering the border area.

“The government’s actions conflict with the principle of freedom of speech,” the media organization said in a joint statement published on its website.

They added that the elimination of the media “is unacceptable and does not meet the standards of a democratic country.”

Some media reported NGOs’ claims that Polish guards pushed migrants back to Belarus.

The statement was issued by 30 media organizations, and more news editorial offices have since joined their support.

In another statement issued on Monday, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) declared Poland into a “press freedom emergency.”

It stated that since the Law and Justice (PiS) Party came to power in 2015, Poland has dropped 46 places in the RSF World Press Freedom Index. It is now ranked 64th out of 180 countries.

Reporters Without Borders also condemned a recent draft law that, if enacted, would prevent companies outside the European Economic Area from holding controlling stakes in Polish media companies.

Critics believe that this is an attempt to silence the main independent news channel TVN24, which is usually highly critical of the government, and the majority of its network TVN is owned by the American Discovery Group.

World Nation News Desk
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