Poland prepares laws to regulate media access to border

Marcin Onufryjuk/PAP

The Polish government plans to pass legislation that will introduce new rules on news media access to the Polish-Belarusian border, a parliamentary deputy speaker has said.

Under a 30-day state of emergency introduced on September 2, the press were banned from reporting from the three-kilometre strip of land adjacent to the border the state covers.

The state of emergency was subsequently prolonged for another 60 days, with the same no-media-access rules still in place.

Speaking at a press conference in the Sejm, the lower house of parliament, Ryszard Terlecki said that "we will need new regulations when it (the state of emergency - PAP) ends."

"Of course, we're not thinking, or the government is not thinking, of prolonging the state of emergency, but rather of introducing some order to media access to the border and to the border area," Terlecki said.

Under Poland's constitution, a state of emergency can only be prolonged once, and that option has already been used up.

"I suppose they (the media to be granted access - PAP) will be nationwide television stations, not local ones," Terlecki said.

Terlecki added that the details of the new regulations would be known near the end of the month.

Poland has been struggling to stem a wave of migrants trying to cross its eastern border with Belarus.

Warsaw accuses Minsk of encouraging thousands of migrants from the Middle East and Africa to come to Belarus and storm EU borders under the false promise of easy access to the EU.