UNHCR experts will visit Latvia from 23 August to 26 August. They will meet with experts from the Ministry of the Interior, State Border Guards, The Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs and other representatives from state institutions and non-governmental sector. Experts will visit the Latvia-Belarus border as well as Accommodation Centre of Detained Foreigners "Daugavpils".
Belarus must assume its full responsibility for people whose arrival to its territory it has organised itself. It is unacceptable that people who have arrived in Belarus are being unlawfully directed to the EU external border, to be later prevented from returning to their countries of residence. Weaponizing refugees and immigrants threatens the regional security of the European Union and constitutes a grave breach of human rights. Such behaviour should be condemned in strongest terms by the whole democratic community.
Latvia has expressed grave concern regarding the situation on the borders of Lithuania, Latvia and Poland with Belarus. It is clear to us that the ongoing crisis has been planned and systemically organized by the regime of Alexander Lukashenka. Using immigrants to destabilize neighbouring countries constitutes a clear breach of the international law and qualifies as a hybrid attack.
Latvia urges the UN High Commissioner for Refugees to take active steps to facilitate the solution of this situation and to require the Republic of Belarus to comply with its international obligations assumed, inter alia, under the International Covenant for Civil and Political Rights and the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. UNHCR office in Minsk has to make immediate meaningful efforts to address the matter with the Belarusian authorities.
StratCom Advisor to the Minister of Interior