Lithuania orders border guards to push migrants back across the border to Belarus

News About Turkey - NAT
2 Min Read

LITHUANIA has ordered its border guards to turn away, by force if needed, migrants attempting to enter the Baltic country.

Vilnius says that recent border crossings are an act of retaliation by Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko to the European Union’s sanctions over an air piracy incident.

The Interior Ministry claimed that a video shot from a helicopter showed large groups of people being escorted to Lithuania’s border by Belarusian border guards.

The ministry said today that at least three large groups were stopped in thick woods in the border between the two countries, and Lithuanian border guards ordered them to return to Belarus.

“First of all, [Lithuanian border] officers tell [the migrants] that they are lost; that they have arrived in the beautiful country of Belarus and got the wrong way while enjoying nature but now they must continue the tourist track back into that country,” Vice-Interior Minister Arnoldas Abramavicius told reporters.

If that method proves unsuccessful, he said that Lithuania has reserved the right to use force to keep the migrants away but “the use of force depends on circumstances.”

Forcing people back to a place where they may face persecution is a breach of international refugee laws.

Following a visit to the Lithuania-Belarus border on Monday, European Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson said: “In my view, it’s necessary to have some kind of physical barrier.”

The EU’s increasing use of military surveillance technology to prevent people from seeking their human right to claim asylum — as well as its relationship with the Libyan coastguard and alleged involvement with illegal pushbacks of people from Greece to Turkey — has been widely criticised by human rights and refugee rescue and support groups.

Source: Morning Star

Share This Article
Leave a comment