Lithuania: Border and camp emergency for migrants from Belarus

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Lithuanian parliament today declared a state of emergency on the country’s border with Belarus and in camps hosting immigrants arriving from there, as the vote count showed.

The state of emergency, which begins tonight at midnight, Tuesday night through Wednesday, and is set to last a month, allows border guards to use “mental compulsion” and “proportional use of physical force “ to prevent migrants from entering Lithuania.

The European Union blames Belarus

EU member states accuse Belarus of encouraging illegal immigrants from the Middle East, Afghanistan and Africa to cross the border to cross into EU territory in retaliation for sanctions against Minsk for human rights abuses.

The declaration of a state of emergency in Lithuania prohibits any movement within five kilometers of the Belarusian border, unless permitted by border guards. Mobile phones can be removed from Immigrants and public gatherings near borders and camps may be banned, according to the Athens News Agency.

The state of emergency is “necessary”

«The state of emergency is necessary for the use of emergency measures in order to eliminate the serious threat to society posed by the mass influx of foreigners“Refers to the proposal submitted to parliament.

The measures will also deter anyone seeking to help migrants, Prime Minister Ingrida Simonite told parliament.

“People who live and work (near the border) will be able to continue to do so, but those who want to get there, for example, to pick up migrants and move them to another area – it will be more difficult for them to they are doing it“, Said Simonite.

Lithuania announced Monday that it is transporting troops to the Belarusian border to prepare for a possible influx of migrants.

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