Amnesty: Latvia Mistreating Migrants on Belarus Border

    Photo: dw

    The Facts

    • Amnesty International has alleged in a new report that migrants trying to cross from Belarus to Latvia have been "violently" beaten and humiliated by border authorities, with some even subjected to alleged torture.

    • Latvia has denied claims that officials used excessive force, instead referring to the migration as "illegal crossings," despite the possibility of violating EU law.

    The Spin

    Narrative A

    Refugees and migrants have been brutally treated by Latvian border control while being arbitrarily held at undisclosed sites in Latvian forests. This report follows similar reports from Belarus, Poland, and Lithuania in what is a clear breach of EU and international law. This is an egregious violation of fundamental human rights.

    Narrative B

    The report makes inflammatory allegations of widespread border abuse based on the testimony of only 17 people - most of whom were Iraqi nationals who had very little idea of the legality of their crossing. Amnesty International has seen its reputation decline in recent months over its coverage of Ukraine. This report is unfair and out of context.

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