In Lithuania, migrants reported threats from officers during asylum interviews
Migrants in Lithuania say they are intimidated during asylum interviews, so that they agree to deportation, according to the Lithuanian national radio and television portal LRT.
According to the portal, groups of Lithuanian officers recruited from various institutions arrive at the migrant centers for on-site interviews. Most of the asylum seekers living there say that they either do not understand the purpose of these negotiations, or that they are intimidated into agreeing to return home.
“Employees of the migration department said during the interview that Lithuania is similar to Belarus, many are racists here,” LRT quoted Edga from Cameroon from one of the temporary centers for Lithuanian migrants. “They said that you have two options: either you leave voluntarily, or we will deport you by force,” she said.
As the portal adds, a man from Cameroon, who chose to remain anonymous, said that “during the interview, the man gave us a paper where we must write (our data – ed.) And sign the deportation.” “They intimidate us every day, if you want to return home, you take 300 euros or you will be deported by force,” said the migrant. The same has been repeated by more than a dozen asylum seekers from different countries in at least two different centers for migrants, the LRT notes.
One of the workers of the Lithuanian department, who, according to the portal, conducted interviews with migrants, but quit, said anonymously that the result of the interviews depended on the interviewer’s “own morality”. In a process lasting less than 20 minutes, they had to quickly decide whether to register a migrant as an “illegal” or an “asylum seeker” by placing their names in one of two boxes that would determine the future of their asylum application.
“We deceived them during this process, because … the main goal is to get rid of them,” the portal quotes the man’s words. As the LRT adds, interviewers had to respond to very specific keywords to determine whether a migrant should be registered as an asylum seeker. “People take part in interviews like a game where they don’t know the rules,” said a man who interviewed migrants. He added that the main message that was repeated to asylum seekers was that sooner or later they would have to leave – either voluntarily or by force.
Recently, Lithuania, Latvia and Poland have announced an increase in the number of detained illegal migrants at the border with Belarus. President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko said that Minsk will no longer restrain the flow of illegal migrants to the EU countries: because of the West’s sanctions, there is “neither money nor energy for this.”