2021.07.22 10:22

Lithuania officials dismiss as ‘fake news’ Minsk regime claims of migrant pushbacks

LRT.lt2021.07.22 10:22

Lithuanian officials have dismissed as “fake news” claims by Minsk regime of pushbacks and alleged beatings and threats against undocumented migrants.

The Belarusian border guards alleged that migrants from Iraq had been forced to return to Belarus “under the threat of using weapons”, according to a press release quoted by Radio Free Europe (RFE/RL).

State media has also published propaganda reports, accusing Lithuanian officers of “brutality” against the migrants and “shooting” on the border.

Lithuania’s State Border Guard Service told Radio Free Europe reporters that “we do not comment on fake news".

Vilnius officials say that the regime of Alexander Lukashenko is complicit in facilitating irregular migration, calling it “hybrid aggression” against the country.

So far, some 2,200 undocumented migrants, mostly from Iraq, have crossed the border from Belarus. In comparison, only around a hundred people were detained after crossing from Belarus over the past several years.

Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis also said that Lukashenko was "blackmailing" the country.

Read more: Baghdad to Lithuania: how Belarus opened new migration route to EU – LRT Investigation

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