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Poland's Supreme Court slams government for restricting media access at Belarus border

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By Euronews  with AFP
Thousands of migrants -- mainly from the Middle East -- attempted to cross the Poland-Belarus border in 2021.
Thousands of migrants -- mainly from the Middle East -- attempted to cross the Poland-Belarus border in 2021.   -   Copyright  Leonid Shcheglov/BelTA via AP, File

Poland's Supreme Court has condemned the country's government for preventing journalists from accessing the border with Belarus.

Judges said the ban was "incompatible" with current Polish law, according to a ruling seen by AFP.

Dozens of journalists were blocked from reporting on the border crisis last year when thousands of migrants attempted to cross from Belarus into the European Union.

Poland's government built a barbed-wire fence and amassed thousands of soldiers along the 400-kilometre Belarusian border.

Warsaw also imposed a state of emergency in September which prevented journalists and humanitarian organisations from accessing the border region for security reasons.

On Tuesday, the Polish Supreme Court said the country's constitution guarantees both "freedom of movement" and "freedom to collect and disseminate information".

"There is no justification for admitting that this particular professional group represents a threat to steps taken," judges said.

Some reporters had complained to the court after they were arrested by police after mistakenly entering the prohibited zone.

Meanwhile, NGOs had also condemned Poland for preventing aid from reaching migrants who were trapped between the two countries in freezing temperatures.

Poland's top court also stated that it opposed "any restrictions on the protection of human dignity, life, and humanitarian treatment".