The possibility of introducing a ban on staying in a specific area of the border zone and the use of knapsack throwers of incapacitating substances by Border Guard officers – is part of the solutions contained in the draft amendment, which was included in the list of legislative works of the government. It also mentions the abolition of the age limit for candidates for service in the Border Guard. The deputy head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Administration, Maciej Wąsik, argued that the proposed changes “allow journalists to work in the border areas in an orderly manner”. He added that it would be an urgent project and would be dealt with under a separate procedure.
On Thursday, a draft amendment to the act on the protection of the state border and some other acts was added to the list of legislative works of the Council of Ministers. As stated, the regulation “is primarily aimed at ensuring the effectiveness of actions taken by the Border Guard (SG) to protect the state border of the Republic of Poland in the event of a threat to state security or public order, and to improve the safety of Border Guard officers who perform tasks related to the protection of the state border”.
“The necessity to introduce the proposed changes is directly related to the continuing crisis on the Polish-Belarusian section of the state border,” the argument was.
Prohibition of staying in the border zone and backpack throwers for the Border Guard
Pursuant to the proposed amendments to the Act on the Protection of the State Border, in the event of a threat to state security or public order – pursuant to a regulation of the Minister of the Interior, for a specified period, after consulting the Commander-in-Chief of the Border Guard – it will be possible to prohibit staying in a specific area of the border zone. There will be exceptions to the ban.
Another change will extend the catalog of direct coercive measures that can be used by Border Guard officers with knapsack-like stun guns.
Changes related to the Border Guard
The age limit for candidates for service in the Border Guard will also be abolished and the professional qualifications required to appoint Border Guard officers to the official position will be regulated, and the time limits for entrusting official duties in the case of an officer entrusted with official duties due to the need to replace another officer due to his absence from the service.
On the other hand, in the act on compensation in connection with the introduction of a state of emergency in part of the Podlaskie Voivodeship and part of the Lubelskie Voivodeship, a provision is to be introduced that will allow entities performing specific activities in the area prohibited to stay to receive compensation.
The Ministry of the Interior and Administration is responsible for the development of the project.
Deputy head of the Ministry of Interior and Administration: it gives journalists the opportunity to work in an orderly manner in the border areas
Maciej Wąsik, deputy head of the Ministry of Interior and Administration, argued that the project – although it cares about the security of the border – does not replace the state of emergency, and the proposed provisions are less restrictive.
– Not only that, it allows journalists to work in the border areas in an orderly manner. It seems that this is a necessary path to maintain public order, order and security at the state border, he assessed.
He added that the draft also introduces “a necessary change in coercive measures.” – At the moment, the guards can only use hand gas throwers. As experience shows, in such situations as we have at the border, backpack blasters are more effective, better and, in some situations, simply indispensable. Necessary so as not to use more severe coercive measures, he argued.
Referring to the proposed abolition of the age limit, he indicated that this change “has long been postulated by the Border Guard”. – It is the last service with an age limit of 35. Taking into account that we are approaching considerable recruitment in the Border Guard, at the request of the Border Guard leadership, we decided to submit such a solution to the government, and later to the Sejm. It seems that this is a sensible solution, especially in conditions when unemployment in Poland is very low, when the labor market is difficult for employers – he said.
He added that the Border Guard needs experts in various fields – including those who are already 35 years old. – It is mainly about specialists in narrow specializations. The service in the Border Guard will also be open to them, he stressed. The deputy head of the Ministry of Interior and Administration noted that the project would be an urgent project and would be processed under a separate procedure. – We hope to pass it quickly, get approval from the Sejm and the Senate – said Wąsik.
Crisis on the Polish-Belarus border
On the Polish-Belarusian border there is a crisis. On Monday, large groups of migrants tried to force their way to Poland. The Ministry of National Defense announced in the afternoon that a massive attempt to cross the border had been stopped. There are over a dozen thousand officers of the Border Guard, police and army on the spot. The services regularly inform about numerous attempts to illegally enter our country.
Since September 2, due to the migratory pressure, a state of emergency has been in force in 183 towns in the Podlaskie and Lubelskie provinces adjacent to the border with Belarus. A dam is to be built on the border with Belarus in the first half of 2022.
Due to the introduced state of emergency, the media can use almost exclusively official government recordings and information when reporting on the events at the border. Journalists have no access to the area covered by the state of emergency.
Main photo source: MON