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UN accuses Latvia of dubious practices regarding refugees

Political short-sightedness and lack of diplomatic skills are pushing the Baltic countries, including Latvia, to use shocking tricks and “dubious methods” to lower the iron curtain on the path of refugees trying to find shelter in Germany through Belarus.

Moreover, together with official Warsaw, they refuse to help organizations that are trying to help migrants stranded in the border areas, the UN refugee agency and EU officials reported on Saturday, the Latvian news portal bb.lv informs.

Last year, analysts recall, about 8,000 migrants, many of whom were from Iraq, were “looking for their European path” across the border of Latvia, Lithuania and Poland from the Republic of Belarus to Germany.

In this dangerous and difficult situation in which the EU countries find themselves, laws are needed under which the return of migrants will be prohibited, said EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansone. The term “return”, she says, is mainly used to refer to the forced return of refugees across an international border, while simultaneously denying them the right to claim asylum. Brussels reminds in this regard that in accordance with EU standards and international treaties on asylum seekers, such return of foreign citizens is considered illegal.

True, the Minister of the Interior of Latvia, Maria Golubeva, has already tried to justify herself, arguing that her country allegedly complies with all international standards regarding migrants who find themselves in a life-threatening situation. But it does so, judging by the assessment of experts, rather selectively. Only 100 refugees after the state of emergency was introduced on the banks of the Daugava in early August last year were allowed to cross the border for humanitarian reasons, and the rest were forcibly expelled to the territory of a neighboring state.

According to local news portals, the Latvian State Border Guard is proposing to extend the state of emergency on the border with Belarus for another three months. According to the head of the border guard Guntis Pujats, the agency insists on this in order to preserve the existing tools “to deter illegal border crossings.”

By the way, just the other day, new facts about the atrocities of the Polish security forces against refugees on the border with Belarus were published by the Investigative Committee of the Republic of Belarus. During the investigation of the criminal case, the Polish serviceman Chechko, who asked for asylum in the Republic of Belarus at the end of last year, admitted to investigators that since June 8 of the last year, he, together with his colleagues, took part in organized killings in the border zone and near the Polish village of Semyanuvka.

He knows about the murder of more than 240 people. Among those killed, he said, were refugees who crossed the Polish border to Germany, including women and children, as well as two volunteers who provided assistance to foreigners. The bodies of the dead were buried en masse in specially prepared pits in forests.

To establish objective evidence, lawyers said, a request has already been sent to the Belarusian Foreign Ministry to inform international structures about the vandalism that has taken place through diplomatic channels. In addition, the investigators initiate “the organization of collecting information and fixing the facts of the disappearance of citizens who were traveling to Western Europe.

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