Chaos with immigrants on the border with Belarus
The state of emergency, which begins tonight overnight, Tuesday night through Wednesday, and is set to last a month, allows border guards to use “mental coercion” and “proportionate use of physical force” to prevent migrants from entering Lithuania.
EU member states accuse Belarus of encouraging illegal immigrants from the Middle East, Afghanistan and Africa to cross the border to cross into EU territory in retaliation for sanctions against Minsk for human rights abuses.
The declaration of a state of emergency in Lithuania prohibits any movement within five kilometers of the Belarusian border, unless permitted by border guards. Mobile phones can be removed by immigrants and public gatherings near borders and camps can be banned.
“The state of emergency is necessary to use emergency measures in order to eliminate the serious threat to society posed by the mass influx of foreigners,” the motion before parliament said.
The measures will also deter anyone seeking to help migrants, Prime Minister Ingrida Simonite told parliament.
“People who live and work (near the border) will be able to continue to do so, but those who want to get there, for example, to pick up migrants and move them to another area – it will be more difficult for them to they do it “, said Simonite.
Lithuania announced Monday that it is transporting troops to the Belarusian border to prepare for a possible influx of migrants.
Lukashenko v. Poland
Belarusian authorities have accused Poland of abusing four migrants on the border between the two countries, where a migrant crisis is unfolding, a source of great tension between Minsk and the West. “We saw a lot of injuries on the bodies of the migrants, the Polish forces of their order behaved violently and drove them from the barbed wire on the border with Belarus,” said the Belarusian border guard service.
In a statement to her Telegram account, she said the four men, of Kurdish origin, had been spotted in a makeshift camp on the Belarusian side of the border on Tuesday night. Images broadcast from Minsk show several scenes near the barbed wire separating Belarus from Poland. Three men, with blood on their hands and face, are shown in the video. Thousands of migrants seeking to cross into Poland are stranded on the border with Belarus amid the cold, and the presence of troops on both sides raises fears of a conflict.
For months, Europeans have accused Minsk of deliberately issuing visas to migrants, mainly from the Middle East, to cross the border and then enter the EU to avenge sanctions imposed on Belarus over human rights abuses. the suppression of the opposition movement that erupted after Lukashenko’s controversial August 2020 victory. Also on Tuesday, the Polish Prime Minister accused Russian President Vladimir Putin, an ally of Minsk, of being the “brain” behind this wave of immigrants.