According to Seymus Ombudsman’s head of the Bureau of Human Rights, Vittatas Valentinevius, state border guards have modeled a possible scenario for Belarus to “push” migrants into Lithuania through one or more border units. He made this public on the social network, but avoided widespread comments.
Unofficial data from the Tv3.lt portal confirms that a plan is being devised on how Lithuania will behave if a large number of immigrants attempt to enter the border, especially if others try to intimidate asylum seekers. Dogs can be bullied, shot in the air or similar acts.
Rogas Bukinskos, communications chief of the State Border Security Service, said he could not comment on the Belarusian side’s actions. “Our border guards and all the agencies that assist them work with precision, discipline and efficient maturity,” he said.
Although public officials are not in a position to comment publicly on the situation, it is unofficially acknowledged that the situation is serious. Belarusian authorities will not allow reverse immigrants to cross the border into the depths of the country, so their numbers are increasing along the border.
These people may be forced into Lithuania using shots in the air or in other ways. In this case, the immigrants will cross the Lithuanian border en masse, and the border guards must react quickly and choose: to allow intimidated people inside or to forcibly stop them. But in the latter case, Lithuania is in danger of destroying its international image because not allowing people to run away from scenes or dogs would seem cruel. Meanwhile, the Belarusian side does not care about its image, so the neighboring country can even use inhumane means.
According to a person who does not want to be quoted, the authorities may be afraid to use force against mass immigrants because they will have to respond to it.
At this time, when a small group of people are trying to cross the border, there is no need to use force, because looking at the many officers standing in line, the immigrants push themselves away and do not dare to cross the border. The psychology aspect works.
However, in the event that Belarus threatens the people in particular, they have no choice but to flee to Lithuania. If this process leads to panic, it will lose control.
Biekša: We are already breaking the law
According to Larinas Picena, an associate professor at the International Law Institute and EU Law at the University of Mycolas Romeris, the current practice of diverting immigrants is likely to violate international law. If immigrants are forcibly rejected, Lithuania will be treated like Hungary.
“Lithuania can not even do what it already does. As Lithuania calls it, hundreds of people who have walked so far are turning upside down. Are families with children sleeping on the Lithuanian border now in the jungle columns? This is the situation at the moment. I do not know why they are still waiting in the jungle, but I think it’s a matter of time. Says my lawyer.
According to L. Biekša, immigrants in the current situation may already be considered to have been evicted if they were in danger of being turned upside down. The lawyer argues that although under the current regime reverse immigrants should be guided to border crossings, this is unlikely to be the case because no immigrant has sought asylum at a particular border crossing.
“It simply came to our notice then. If they do not reach the boundary point, a decision can be made and in practice everything will get worse, ”the lawyer said.
According to the narrator, the expulsion by force would be even more brutal if immigrants who were not allowed into Lithuania waited on the Belarusian border and tried to enter Lithuania only in larger groups. “We’ve already done enough,” my lawyer said.
How to proceed in the best way
Asked how the Lithuanian government should behave better if it does not want to violate international and EU law, L.A. If a person comes to the Lithuanian border and finds Lithuania, our state must examine the situation of the individual separately to ensure that the person is not threatened. Danger.
“It makes no difference whether a person came to the border into the jungle or he came to the border checkpoint. However, Lithuania should consider every such person as a potential refugee, because when he comes, no one knows who he is. Five Belarusians are fleeing from the political regime of Alexander Lukashenko. If, however, a hundred people who had come to the Lithuanian border in the jungle and wanted to go back to Lithuania, after all, the border guards have not analyzed who those people are, they turn those Belarusians upside down with others and tell them to go somewhere else and come differently somehow. With us, no one is checking what we are changing, we are pushing back into the wild a person who may need international protection, ”said L. Peeksha.
The expulsion of immigrants was used by other EU countries, but the rulings of the European Court of Human Rights differ: in the case of Hungary and Poland, the expulsion was found to be in violation of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Freedom.
According to L. Biekša, the current situation in Lithuania is similar to that in Hungary than in Spain.
In 2014, Spain returned to the Moroccan settlers who attacked Melia, an autonomous city on the north coast of Morocco, as a group. Melia is surrounded by a fence, but there are border crossings between Morocco and Melia that can legally cross the border and seek asylum. Spain also uses it to expel immigrants from the autonomous city of Ciuda, located in the Strait of Gibraltar.
The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that Spain did not violate the treaty because in one particular case, immigrants attacked a ban on a group instead of using legal boundaries. According to the court, it could not expect security and personal assessment because the immigrants were in an “illegal situation”.
Hungary is very active in rejecting immigrants. According to the Hungarian Helsinki Committee, there are about 72,000 in total. Rejection cases However, in the case of Hungary, the European Court of Human Rights did not individually assess the individual asylum seeker’s status and return him to Serbia.
According to the court, the asylum seeker complained to Hungary that even if he entered the country with a group of other immigrants, no circumstances were created that violated the public order, the asylum seeker did not use force, did not escape and was not legally allowed to apply for asylum in Hungary. On average, after 15 requests a day, they were so far away that there were no normal rules in the country. As a result, the court found that Hungary could not legally apply for asylum, thus refusing to assess the applicant’s personal circumstances and violating his human rights.