Joshua Askew, Euronews, April 26, 2023
Activists have warned a new law passed on Tuesday could allow “violent far-right groups” to police Lithuania’s border.
Due to come into force in May, the Border and Protection Law will enable volunteers to work alongside the State Border Guard Service, permitting them to use force and help detain people in certain circumstances.
A spokesperson from the NGO Sienos Grupė (Border Group) told Euronews there are fears it will allow “far-right extremists” to use violence and commit human rights abuses against migrants on the Belarussian frontier.
“Why would someone want to catch foreigners at the border,” they said. “If the border police feel understaffed they should hire more. Instead… they are asking people who are motivated enough to come and work for free.”
Volunteers will receive state funds and be issued with “certificates, identification badges and vests” under the legislation drafted by the Interior Ministry.
Since 2021, Lithuanian authorities have tried to stop undocumented people from entering the country in what has been called Europe’s forgotten migration crisis.
[What is an activist? Are they Soros funded, no more borders, globalists? — S. Byron Gassaway]