On Saturday night near the town of Czeremcha (easter Poland), “Belarusian soldiers began to destroy the temporary border barrier. They were tearing out fence posts and tearing up concertina wires with a service vehicle. Polish services were blinded by laser beams and a flashtube,” the Polish Border Guard announced on social media.
The situation has been documented and is visible on a recording made available by the Polish services. According to the 1980 “Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons which may be deemed to be Excessively Injurious or to have Indiscriminate Effects,” the signatory of which is, inter alia, Belarus, the use of laser weapons is prohibited.
Protocol IV of the convention entitled “Protocol on Blinding Laser Weapons,” states that “It is prohibited to employ laser weapons specifically designed, as their sole combat function or as one of their combat functions, to cause permanent blindness to unenhanced vision, that is to the naked eye or to the eye with corrective eyesight devices”.
The protocol adds that “In the employment of laser systems, the High Contracting Parties shall take all feasible precautions to avoid the incidence of permanent blindness to unenhanced vision. Such precautions shall include training of their armed forces and other practical measures”.
This means that Belarus broke the provisions of the 1980 convention by trying to blind Polish soldiers with laser beams.