After crossing from Belarus, four undocumented migrants approached people in Dieveniškės who have been holding vigils and protesting against plans to open a migrant centre. The four Iraqi citizens were promptly detained by the police.
“The migrants, after crossing the border, came up to the gathering of people [who] then called the police,” said Ramūnas Matonis, spokesman for the Lithuanian Police.
They were detained in the early hours on Wednesday.
Dieveniškės has been the centre of protests against plans to house some 600 migrants in the town of around 500 people. The government later decided to open a migrant camp at a military training facility in Rūdninkai, some 30 kilometres from Vilnius, where scuffles later erupted between police and the protesters who attempted to block the construction equipment.
Lithuania has seen an unprecedented influx of irregular migration. Vilnius officials maintain that the crossings are facilitated by the Minsk government, calling it “hybrid aggression” against the country.
Over 3,000 undocumented migrants, mostly from Iraq, have arrived in Lithuania over the past several months. In comparison, between several dozen and a hundred people were detained in Lithuania after irregular crossings from Belarus annually in the past years.