[ 30. Mar 2010 ]

Violence against Immigrants in Lithuania

Pabrade, Lithuania

Violence of Border Guards Against the Inhabitants of Pabrade Migrants' Centre, Lithuania: Seized Cell-Phones, Broken Ribs, Bloody Walls.


In the morning of March 25th clashes erupted between the detained people and the officers who made a search in Pabrade Migrants' Centre (called Foreigners' Registration Centre, or FRC). The State Border Defence Squad (SBDS) from district town Ignalina acted extremely violently, beating the inhabitants of FRC, breaking ribs for two of them, one of them ambulanced. Despite the above the chiefs of FRC accused the detained foreigners of preparing for revolt.

According to a detained citizen of Georgia that refused to say his name the officers treated the disobedient detainees very violently. According to him two men had their ribs broken, three or four were suffered smaller injuries. He confirmed that during the room check some cell-phones had been found, but he said that the officers had acted inadequately. They can't beat them with rubber sticks, it is inhuman, the Georgian said to the media.

Another Georgian detainee said that the check began at 8 o'clock. Around 40 people were whipped in one room and waited until their rooms were searched. According to the man, four cell-phones were found. Then ten people were left in the room, others coul leave the room.

Those ten people were one by one taken to kitchen and beaten with no mercy. "All the walls are bloody, we purposely did not wash them" - the witness said. According to him among those ten there were no cell-phone owners. One of the chief officers used his finger to choose those who should stay in room. "He left those who he did not like much", the witness said. He said that among those left there were two Georgians, three migrants from African states, three from Iran, one from Albania and one from Russia. "They stopped the execution only after noticing that one man had his ribs broken", he said.

Even after noticing the injury the officers did not call ambulance. The first to call the ambulance were the FRC inhabitants themselves, but the medics refused to go arguing that the chiefs had to call them. The ambulance came late but the help was minimal - the medics gave the injured only the tablet to suppress the pain. "That man needs to be x-rayed, he needs a serious treatment", the detainee said. He said that during other checks there were clashes too, but they were not such savage".

According to the detainee, the migrants did not plot any revolt. He said that all the inhabitants of the centre are angry about what has happened and they will not be silent for this time. "We will address the organizations defending human rights, such behavior is unjustifiable, it's fascism", he said.

Meanwhile the chief of FRC Robertas Petraitis presented other version: "They resisted, they got what they deserved. They did not allow the forbidden things, fought to seize back their cell-phones. Using violence is understandable", Petraitis said.

The information given by the FRC chief is very different from the information of SBDS. Petraitis mentioned that there were more than 40 cell-phones, different sticks, armature, the hanging ropes were found during the check. He argued that the foreigners prepared a revolt. Meanwhile according to the SBDS statement they have found 11 unjustly kept cell-phones, 13 chargers of the cell-phones, metal stick, one syringe and the devices of electric installation and water heating.

Besides the information by SBDS implies that the conflicts of the FRC detainees with the border guards are provoked by FRC chiefs themselves, they separate the detainees from the outside world. Using cell-phones is forbidden for the detainees, instead they have a right to use the phone box in the territory but... there is no such phone box, because all previous phone boxes were eliminated from the territory claiming that they are unprofitable.

Article published first on 27. Mar 2010 @ ::