Belarus dumps bodies of migrants on border with Latvia, Polish media reports

Latvian border authorities published footage of a body being carried on a stretcher to the fence before another was dragged along the floor and left

editor: Grzegorz Adamczyk
Source: X@Belsat TV

Belarus has been accused of facilitating the dumping of two lifeless bodies, believed to be migrants, at the border fence with Latvia.

The Latvian border authority published footage of an unidentified group on the Belarusian side of the border transporting two bodies showing no signs of life to the fence and leaving them there.

The video, reported on by the Polish broadcaster Belsat TV, showed a body being carried on a stretcher to the fence before another was dragged along the floor and left.

“This group is being watched, the situation is being monitored,” the Border Service reported on Friday, revealing it had already tended to other migrants who had been left in the area and were suffering from exhaustion and frostbite due to worsening weather conditions.

The Latvian border authority reiterated that the act of moving bodies to the border and abandoning them without calling for medical help in a life-threatening situation is a criminal offense. 

Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko weighed in on the matter on Friday, insisting that “every day the bodies of dead migrants are being dumped into Belarus from these neighboring territories,” and accusing neighboring countries within the European Union of pushing back dead migrants into his country.

He claimed to have clear evidence of this, which he said should be shown to “the civilized world (to see) how their supposed paradise looks.” Said evidence is yet to have been published by the Belarusian authorities.

Lukashenko added that his country wasn’t a “filtration camp” and ordered for the migrants to be allowed to cross into Poland and the Baltic states. 

According to Belsat TV, the coincidence of Lukashenko’s remarks and the dumping of the two bodies on the Latvian border is striking and indicates that the regime is conducting a propaganda exercise around the issue. 

Belarusian border authorities and the country’s state-controlled media have repeatedly publicized cases of the bodies of migrants being found on the Polish, Latvian and Lithuanian borders and have blamed these countries’ border authorities for the deaths. 

Poland and the Baltic states claim that the migration crisis triggered by Lukashenko on their borders is a form of hybrid attack on the European Union and a form of Belarusian aggression against the West.

Like Poland, Latvia has built a steel barrier with barbed wire on its border with Belarus and has recently considered mining the border to counter the threat emanating from Minsk. 

The border wall has come under attack from groups of illegal migrants who have been transported to the border by the Belarusian security services, which have also been accused of assisting migrants by cutting wires in the border fence.

Last month, Latvia experienced a record daily total of new arrivals from Belarus, recording 246 illegal breaches of its border on Sept. 10.

At the time, the number of illegal border crossings so far this year had reached 7,800, compared to 5,300 for the whole of 2022.

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