1000 illegal migrants to be settled in village of 500 people
Lithuanian authorities have announced the establishment of a accommodation centre for migrants in the Polish-populated town of Dziewieniszki near Vilnius, Lithuania. This means that approximately 1,000 illegal immigrants would be permanently settled in Dziewieniszki, a village with a population of 500.
The local population is protesting against the plan. They are supported by several organizations, including the Lithuanian Polish Electoral Group, the Association of Christian Families, along with Church representatives, public figures and Polish MPs. Speaking to Maryja Radio on Friday, Association of Christian Families President Dr. Bogusław Rogalski recalled that the Lithuanian interior minister deployed 150 armed police to the Polish residents’ protest against the settlement of illegal Islamic migrants. The president also mentioned to the fence erected by the Hungarian government on the Hungarian-Serbian border, which he said was functioning effectively and made it unnecessary to place a large numbers of illegal migrants in reception centres.
PILNE! Trwa antypolska akcja litewskiego ministra Arvydasa Anušauskasa, który wysłał 150 policjantów do #pacyfikacja #Polacy w #Dziewieniszki. Nasi Rodacy protestują przeciwko narzuceniu lokalizacji ośrodka dla islamskich imigrantów. Może dojść do tragedii. @PAPinformacje pic.twitter.com/MYlM6Co83G
— Bogusław Rogalski (@bogusrogalski) July 23, 2021
MEP Anna Maria Siarkowska on Twitter said that the Lithuanian plans were contrary to international law and the Polish-Lithuanian treaty. The latter stipulates the parties agree that they would refrain from measures that would lead to changes of the ethnic composition of areas inhabited by national minorities. “The Islamic immigrants are housed in a building which is adjacent to two schools, including the Polish-language A. Mickiewicz High School of 1st-12th grade children. Poles living in Dziewienski are counting on the help of the Polish government in this matter,” she wrote.
Litewskie władze szukają miejsc, gdzie mogłyby powstać centra dla nielegalnych migrantów. Na jedno z nich wybrano miejscowość Dziewieniszki, w której mieszkają przede wszystkim Polacy. Mieszkańcy nie zgadzają się z tą decyzją @PLinLithuania @zalewski_ka https://t.co/uIKf07YJJA
— Redakcja Polska Polskiego Radia dla Zagranicy (@RadioZagranica) July 23, 2021
The protests of the Polish people of Dziewienski also reached the Lithuanian Interior Ministry. The demonstrators gathering in front of the ministry waved banners proclaiming: “Listen to Dziewieniszki citizens!”, “NO to the violation of the rights of Dziewieniszki residents”, and “We care about security”.
A local resident said they understood that the illegal migrants need to be placed somewhere, but locals were concerned about the proximity of immigrants. The residents initiated the placement of the migrants in a more remote area where, if necessary, the authorities can intervene before the local population is endangered.