Posted: 30.11.2023 15:03:00

Belarus’ Investigative Committee reports on how Latvian security forces maltreat refugees, with tasers, batons, robbery in use

The Main Investigative Department of Belarus’ Investigative Committee continues to investigate the criminal case against Latvian officials for committing crimes against the safety of humanity, the state agency reports on its official website

The Investigative Committee noted that Latvia’s authorities have taken the life of seventeen foreigners who tried to reunite with their relatives in Europe, while hundreds of migrants faced acts of bestial cruelty and violence on the part of nationalist and xenophobic armed groups on the Latvian territory.

"As part of the investigation, Belarusian border guards discovered a group of five exhausted and beaten migrants, who were trying to get into the territory of Germany and France for various reasons. The foreigners told us that they had been already on the territory of Latvia when they were overtaken by armed men in uniform, who began violently beating them with legs, hands, batons and using a stun gun. All pleas for help were ignored. After that, the maimed migrants were taken to a concentration camp, where their passports were torn, mobile phones were broken, and money was taken away. Uniformed mercenaries stole $2,000 from one of the victims," the Investigative Committee informed.

Among the foreign hostages in the camp were two former Afghan officers. One of them served in the police, and the other – in military aviation. They said that the most aggressive mercenaries had a mark of difference: a patch with the SIGMA inscription on their uniforms. According to them, these criminals were the main punitive force, they beat all foreigners, smashed their mobile phones and took money away. After that, they brought the beaten hostages to the border and, threatening them with weapons, forcibly pushed them into the territory of Belarus.

"These circumstances indicate that racist politics has not only ideological roots, but also practical application in the form of organised territories, punitive force and a well-established filtering system according to SS patterns," the Investigative Committee stressed.

According to the source, medical assistance has been provided to the injured foreigners, and their life and health are not in danger at the moment. The investigators interviewed the victims, initiated forensic medical examinations to determine the severity of the injuries. The Investigative Committee is giving a principled legal assessment of the actions of officials involved in this and similar incidents.