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2021.10.13 09:54

EU border chief: More ‘violations’ in Lithuania than reported

LRT.lt2021.10.13 09:54

The number of reports on alleged violations against migrants in Lithuania has risen from 14 to 20, according to the head of EU border agency Frontex, Fabrice Leggeri.

"There are, if I remember correctly now 17, almost 20 let's say, serious incident reports with a suspicion of the violation of fundamental rights in Lithuania," he said on Monday, according to the EUobserver news website in Brussels.

"My understanding is that the reason for that is the interpretation of Lithuanian law. The question is whether Lithuanian law on border management and asylum is compatible with EU legislation," he said at an event organised by the Brussels-based EUWatch, an NGO.

Read more: EU's border agency records 'collective expulsions' in Lithuania

Lithuania has passed laws allowing the pushback of migrants during an emergency situation, which is currently declared nationwide due to an influx of migrants fostered by the Belarusian regime.

Frontex has previously pulled out of Hungary over human rights abuses. When asked whether the agency would withdraw from Lithuania, where it has currently deployed dozens of officers and various equipment, Leggeri said he cannot comment on the ongoing investigations.

Over 4,000 migrants have entered Lithuania from Belarus, which Baltic and EU officials say is "weaponisation of migration" organised by the Minsk regime in response to Western sanctions.

Since early August, Lithuania – as well as Poland and Latvia – have been returning migrants back to Belarus.

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