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HomeNewsInternational NewsPolish forces intimidate media near Belarus border: Journalists

Polish forces intimidate media near Belarus border: Journalists

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(Al Jazeera) – Several reporters tell Al Jazeera they were verbally abused and handcuffed while authorities searched their equipment.

Sokolka, Poland – On Tuesday, three photojournalists went on their usual journey around villages near the Polish-Belarusian border to take photos of the escalating migration crisis.

Under a state of emergency, Poland bans reporters and aid workers from the 3km (2 miles)-wide border zone, where dozens of asylum seekers who manage to cross from Belarus hide from Polish guards.

So those like Maciej Moskwa and Maciej Nabrdalik, two Polish photo reporters, and Martin Divisek, their Czech colleague, have been covering the story from where they have access.

About 4pm local time, the reporters approached a military camp located in Wiejki, a village. They left their car and informed guards that they are journalists.

“Good evening, we’re here at work. We know that you are too. We’re allowed to take photographs here. Even if you turn your back to us,” one of the journalists can be heard in a recording from the scene, obtained by Al Jazeera.

“We don’t want to mess with you, but we need to know what the situation is and we know we have the right to take pictures here. Please respect that because we respect your work.”

The guards did not know that one of the journalists had a recording device that was switched on, just in case.

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