Onet said on Friday evening that the journalist and the portal operator had heard two accusations in connection with the coverage of the area near the border with Belarus, in which the state of emergency was introduced. The first concerns staying in the prohibited area, the second “fixing by technical means” of the border infrastructure. The spokesman of the Provincial Police Headquarters in Białystok, Deputy Inspector Tomasz Krupa confirmed the charges against the men. At the same time, he stated that the report of events presented by Onet “contains false information”.
President Andrzej Duda decided on Thursday to issue a regulation on the introduction of a state of emergency in some localities in the Podlaskie and Lubelskie voivodeships in connection with the situation on the border with Belarus, which was previously requested by the government. It was left on the same day published in the Journal of Laws and entered into force. They also appeared two further Restriction Regulations in a State of Emergency. On Monday, however, the presidential ordinance is to be dealt with by the Sejm. The Chamber may repeal them.
In the area of the state of emergency, adults must carry an identity document, and persons under the age of 18 have a school ID. It is also forbidden to stay in this area by persons other than residents or authorized to do so. The possibility of organizing public gatherings and mass events was suspended there. Also, “specific places, objects or areas” cannot be filmed and photographed.
Report of Onet journalists from the area covered by the state of emergency
As Onet wrote on Friday evening, the portal’s reporter “managed to reach the Polish-Belarusian border.” “Bartłomiej Bublewicz in his material wanted to check how the services function in the area of the state of emergency. Onet’s journalist on his way to almost the very border in Usnarz Górny, where a group of 32 migrants is camping, did not encounter any patrol” – wrote the portal.
– The idea for the report was that we will stop at the first police check-point and from there we will tell you about the blocking of access to places subject to the state of emergency. However, we did not encounter any patrol – said Bartłomiej Bublewicz.
Onet’s website we read that when the video was published on the website, Bublewicz was contacted by a spokesman for the Białystok police. – He handed me a senior policeman to the phone. He was very nice and asked me to show up at the police station in Hajnówka so that I could “quietly” deal with my relationship, the journalist said.
– At the headquarters, I waited with the assistance of two policemen, not even knowing exactly in what capacity I was called. When my interrogation began, the officers approached the car in which I arrived. First, they wanted to search the vehicle, but then asked the operator to issue cards for the cameras on which the recording was recorded – reported Bublewicz.
Onet: the policemen wanted to seize the journalist’s phone
Onet’s reporter, who refused to testify during the half-hour interrogation, added that the police also wanted to seize his phone. – The officer stated that if I had given my testimony, there would have been no such need. However, I did not agree to it and they let it go – he said.
As Onet wrote, the cinematographer was also interviewed. Both men heard the accusations of being in the prohibited area and of “fixing by technical means” the border infrastructure.
The spokesman of the Białystok police denies the proposal to settle the matter “quietly”
The spokesman of the Provincial Police Headquarters in Białystok, Deputy Inspector Tomasz Krupa in an interview with tvn24.pl confirmed that journalists had been charged with reporting on the area covered by the state of emergency. At the same time, he said that the account of events presented on the Onet portal “contains false information”. – It was written that I was to contact me and propose that the matter be settled “quietly”. This is false information, it is against my interests – said the chief inspector. Groats.
– This means that the presented account is not entirely reliable – he said.
In an interview with PAP, Krupa stressed that the accusations against journalists were related to a committed offense, not a crime. He admitted that the police had taken action “after an account of the stay appeared on the portal in connection with a well-founded suspicion that these acts had been committed”.
According to the spokesman, journalists gave the police memory cards with a record of the accounts. He added that “after performing the activities (in the district headquarters in Hajnówka – ed.), The contact of journalists with the police ended”.
Tomasz Krupa informed that police actions against journalists would be conducted in the ordinary course. “The expedited procedure provided for in the provisions on the state of emergency applies when the perpetrator is arrested red-handed. In this case, journalists did not report to the police unit until some time later,” explained Krupa.
Main photo source: PAP / Artur Reszko