Doctors without Borders statement regarding deteriorating mental health of detained asylum seekers

Non-governmental organization Doctors without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières, MSF) released a public statement calling on the responsible institutions to draw attention to the alarmingly deteriorating psychological health of migrants and asylum seekers that have been detained in Lithuania.

The report notes that as of now, approximately 700 people who irregularly crossed the Belarusian-Lithuanian border last year are detained at the foreigners registration centers in Kybartai, Pabrade, Rukla, and Naujininkai. Representatives of the organization working in some of the aforementioned centres since January 2022 indicated that more than 70 percent of their patients identified detention as the main reason for their deteriorating psychological state.

The statement also criticized institutional response to various documented cases of discrimination on the basis of origin and stated that the Government of the country supports the “hierarchy of suffering” in the above mentioned foreigners registration centres.

Doctors without Borders calls on the Government of Lithuania to end the prolonged detention of migrants as soon as possible and to ensure an equal asylum system that respects the dignity of people seeking safety.

The full statement is available: here