Fwd: Lithuania: Close Pabrade detention camp

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From: MINELRES moderator <minelres@mailbox.riga.lv>
Date: Tue, 27 Jul 1999 10:58:14 +0300 (EET DST)
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Subject: Fwd: Lithuania: Close Pabrade detention camp

From: MINELRES moderator <minelres@mailbox.riga.lv>

Originals sender: MAHA <maha-news@lists.e-net.ch>

Fwd: Lithuania: Close Pabrade detention camp

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MAHA News Special
26 July 1999
Solidarity with the imprisoned refugees in Lithuania!
"Thirteen Somalis had spent three months in the dark, three metres
underground in horrifying conditions. They never saw the light of day
except during the daily exercise hour. They suffered from eye
problems. It was terribly hot. The air was heavy, unbreathable. The
place made you claustrophobic. The Somalis were in the midst of their
second hunger strike."
This is taken from a 1995 report by the United Nations High Commission
for Refugees. Is it about Campsfield? Or Harmondsworth? Or some local
It is about none of these places. It is about Yanaua detention centre
in Lithuania.
This raises an obvious question - what are Somalian refugees doing in
a Lithuanian detention centre on the Baltic Sea? There is a two-fold
answer. First they were double-crossed by criminal racketeers who, for
a fortune, promised to get them into mainland Europe. Second the
countries of the European Union are intent on creating a ring of
buffer or client states which will operate as a first line of
exclusion from Fortress Europe. The Nordic countries, in particular
Sweden, Norway and Denmark, are acting as financiers for the erection
of immigration controls around the Baltic states of Lithuania, Estonia
and Latvia.
All refugees awaiting expulsion are now kept in Pabrade prison camp.
The only black people in Lithuania appear to be in this camp.  The
Lithuanian Red Cross has established an excellent project to support
these refugees - The Legal Assistance Project for Refugees. In 1998
the Project reported handcuffs and gas being used as a form of
punishment. It also gave examples of a Sri Lankian refugee being
beaten in front of his family because he refused an order to remove
garbage from the camp and another Sri Lankian being beaten by several
guards because he wanted to use the telephone.
We are asking everyone opposed to racism and immigration controls to:
(1) Write and protest about the prison camp to the Lithuanian Embassy,
84 Gloucester Place, London WIH 3HN (fax 0171 486 6403) in the UK or
to the Lithuanian Embassy in your country.
(2) Write and protest to the Commissar (Aligaatas Varnelis) at the
Foreigner's Registration Centre, Pabrade, Svencionys District,
(3) For more information/offers of help write to: The Legal Assistance
Project for Refugees, Gedimino Avenue, 2600 Vilnius
(4) In the UK contact The Campaign To Close Down Pabrade, c/o GMIAU,
400 Cheetham Hill Rd, Manchester M8 9LE
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