21 Jul 2021 15:50

Lithuania limiting rights of illegal immigrants

VILNIUS. July 21 (Interfax/BNS) - Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda signed legislative amendments on Wednesday limiting the rights of illegal immigrants, the office of the president said.

"The law that has been passed by the Seimas [parliament] in a fast-track manner is full of holes in terms of human rights. However, it would be more dangerous today to have a policy full of holes in relation to illegal immigration. Today, it's better to have a law like this one than no regulation envisioning means to rein in the extreme situation on Lithuania's border with Belarus. This would have sent a totally unacceptable signal to the countries immigrants come from," Nauseda said.

The amendments once and for all strip asylum seekers of the right to appeal the rulings of original jurisdiction courts, although the constitution prohibits any legal regulation that denies the ability to revise rulings handed down by courts of original jurisdiction and correcting courts' possible mistakes.

The amendments to the law on the legal status of foreigners also reduce the time for considering asylum applications and limit certain rights of illegal immigrants due to the declaration of an emergency situation in the country over their influx.

Human rights activists, in turn, believe that the amendments will effectively legalize human rights violations.