Polish President Duda declared a state of emergency after a request by the Government to help protect its border with Belarus after an influx of Middle Eastern migrants arrived across the border in recent weeks.
Hundreds of migrants have crossed from Belarus into Poland within the last month, and in response, the Polish government had asked President Andrzej Duda to declare a 30-day state of emergency in Podlaskie and Lubelskie, the two regions that border Belarus.
According to a report from the news service Reuters, the state of emergency is the first in Poland since the fall of the communist regime. Duda approved the government’s request Thursday afternoon.
Euronews reports that human rights group Amnesty International, which can be generally relied upon to oppose border control for European nations, has opposed the move, calling the declaration a cynical move to “target asylum seekers and those who support them”.