Lithuania asks UNHCR and IOM to react to the increased flow of third-country irregular migrants from Belarus
On 12 July, the Permanent Representative of Lithuania Ambassador Andrius Krivas sent letters to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees Mr. Filippo Grandi and the Director General of the International Organization for Migration Mr. António Vitorino in which he provided detailed information on the increased flow of third-country irregular migrants from Belarus to Lithuania and asked respective organizations to react in accordance with their mandates.
„Lithuanian Government believes that the Belarusian de facto authorities artificially stimulates illegal migration and uses it as a political weapon against Lithuania for its principled vocal stance with regard to the multiple unprecedented grave violations of human rights in Belarus“, - the letter states.
This year, the Lithuanian border guards have already detained more than 1800 persons, who illegally crossed the Lithuanian border from Belarus, which compares to just over 80 in all of the previous year.
On 18 February, a virtual side-event on the human rights violations in Belarus took place in the run-up to the 46th session of the Human Rights Council. The event aimed to discuss the ongoing human rights violations in Belarus and possible ways of how the international community, and the UN Human Rights Council in particular, could contribute to ensuring the accountability for those violations.
On 1st October 2020, Lithuania took the floor at the 45th session of the Human Rights Council (HRC) in interactive dialogue with the Dėputy High Commissioner for Human Rights on the human rights situation in Ukraine.
On September 28, Lithuania, together with the co-chairs of the United Nations Group of Friends for the Protection of Journalists, France and Greece, released the Joint Statement on the situation of journalists in Belarus. The Joint Statement was supported by more than fifty United Nations Member States, and the European Union.