News

2016.01.19 09:07

Iraqi migrant family files complaint against Lithuanian Migration Department

Algirdas Acus 2016.01.19 09:07

Iraqi migrant family, which was the first to arrive in Lithuania under the European Union's refugee resettlement programme last December, is suing Lithuanian Migration Department for not granting them refugee status.

Iraqi migrant family, which was the first to arrive in Lithuania under the European Union's refugee resettlement programme last December, is suing Lithuanian Migration Department for not granting them refugee status.

The family of four was granted a legal protection status instead of a refugee status, and has filed complaint against the Migration Department's decision. The case will be heard by the Vilnius District Administrative Court.

The so-called additional legal protection status allows the Iraqi family to reside in Lithuania for two years, with residency permit possibly to be extended.

However, should the authorities deem that the circumstances that made the Iraqi family flee their country have changed, they could be forced to repatriate, while refugee status would have granted permanent residency in Lithuania to the Iraqi family.

The migrant family refused to comment to LRT. Formerly, they said that they had to flee their country to escape religious persecution. Currently they are accommodated at the Refugee Reception Centre in Rukla, central Lithuania.

Over the next two years, Lithuania has agreed to resettle 1,105 refugees, under the EU refugee resettlement program, however only few have so far arrived.

SHOTLIST

Vs of Iraqi family arrival, December 2015

Sound bite (Lithuanian)

EVELINA GUDŽINSKAITE, Interim Director of Lithuanian Migration Department
Refugee status is granted when a person is persecuted, because he belongs to a certain group, let's say religious, political or social. Meanwhile, legal protection status is granted when the circumstances under which the person is living could lead to torture and inhuman behaviour in their own country.

Sound bite (Lithuanian)

SAULIUS SKVERNELIS, Lithuanian Minister of Interior:
Legal protection status and refugee status are essentially the same, when it comes to legal protection measures.

Sound bite (Lithuanian)