Migrants are forced across Latvia/Belarus border, says official

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Migrants crossing the border of Latvia-Belarus mostly say that they have been sent across the border forcibly, Artūrs Garevičs-Jurevičs, head of the Daugavpils detained foreigner accommodation center, told Latvian Radio August 20.

The majority of migrants attempting to reach Latvia from Belarus are from Iraq, Sri Lanka and India, aged between 20 and 30, Garevičs-Jurevičs said.

There are currently 20 detained foreigners and 31 asylum seekers in the Daugavpils accommodation center. Most claim that they have been sent across the border forcibly and most want to return to their home country, Garevičs-Jurevičs said. 

The Center's representative said that no person has yet been returned to the country of residence. Most migrants have no documents, making it difficult to return people to the country from which they came.

Garevičs-Jurevičs also said that one of the migrants was infected with Covid-19. Several migrants are treated at the Daugavpils hospital, but Garevičs-Jurevičs said this was due to "mechanical injuries" not Covid-19.

Over the past 24 hours, only one person had tried to illegally cross the Latvian-Belarusian border. 

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