Ahmed Al-Sahhaf, spokesman for the Iraqi Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has warned Iraqi nationals not to become targets of human trafficking amid a migration crisis in Lithuania.
“We renew our call to all Iraqis not to be a target of smuggling and human trafficking networks,” he was quoted in a statement released by the ministry on Thursday.
His comment came in response to reports by Belarusian border guards on Wednesday that an Iraqi citizen died near the village of Benyakoni in Belarus. According to the reports, border guards attempted to provide first aid.
Belarusian institutions claim the man entered Belarus from Lithuania.
“The Embassy of the Republic of Iraq in Moscow is following with great interest the incident caused the killing of an Iraqi citizen on the borders between Belarus and Lithuania,” Al-Sahhaf also said.
Lithuanian border guards say they have not received any information about this incident from their Belarusian counterparts and say they learned about it from media reports.
Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonytė says the Belarusian government is responsible for what is happening in the country. She added that the Minsk regime had previously spread fake news in order to discredit Lithuanian officers.
Over 4,100 irregular migrants have been detained in Lithuania so far his year after crossing in from Belarus. They are mostly Iraqi citizens.
Lithuania claims that the Belarusian government is engaged in smuggling migrants to its border.