Lithuanian journalists hear out migrants about efforts to cross border, child health

On Lithuanian-Belarusian border, journalists have met a group of migrants, including five children. People coming from the Middle East told their story of trying to enter Poland, then Lithuania and troubles in seeking medical care to an ill child, Lithuanian public broadcaster LRT and journalists Domantė Platūkytė and Benas Gerdžiūnas report.
One of the children is sick and will receive medical assistance in Lithuania, according to the journalists.
«Most of the migrants identified themselves as Iraqi citizens coming from Iraqi Kurdistan. There were at least five men, three women, and at least five children. […] Two women from Somalia were also with them. One child was sick,» said LRT journalist Benas Gerdžiūnas.
At the Lithuanian border, the migrants asked the Lithuanian border guards for medical assistance. They were taken to the nearest checkpoint where doctors came to assist them.
Read also: Lithuania: No immediate flight ban due to Omicron variant planned
«A Kurdish man, who spoke English, said that when they arrived in Minsk, migrants unsuccessfully tried to cross into Poland. When one of their children became seriously ill, they wanted to go back to Minsk, but Belarusians did not allow them to do so,» Gerdžiūnas said.
«According to the man, they paid at least several thousand dollars to Belarusian officers to allow migrants to go back to Minsk. The child was hospitalised there for six days,» the journalist added.
After the child was discharged from the hospital, migrants tried to get back to the border. The Belarusian border guards eventually directed them to the Lithuanian border, the migrants told.
According to the Kurdish group, they have spent at least five days at the Lithuania-Belarus border and were pushed back and forth by Lithuanian and Belarusian border guards. The migrants are unwilling to return to Belarus or Iraq as they feel they would be in danger in both countries.
The article originally appeared on LRT English: