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Court orders Migration Department to reconsider Belarusian soldier's asylum application

Jaunesniojo seržanto Stepano Zacharčenkos byla
Luko Balandžio nuotr. / Stepan Zakharchenko and his lawyer
Šaltinis: BNS
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A Vilnius court ruled in favour of the motion filed by a 22-year-old soldier who deserted from the Belarusian Armed Forces over rejected asylum application, instructing the Migration Department to reconsider his application.

The Belarusian citizen, Stepan Zakharchenko, said he would be in danger if he returned to Belarus. He said he refused to use of violence against civilians and deserted from the Belarusian army. He also said he was subjected to ill-treatment and psychological violence in Belarus.

The court also said on Friday that the Migration Department had failed to collect sufficient data about the situation in Belarus from human rights institutions, violated the procedure of processing applications and failed to explain the applicant's rights and duties.

"The Migration Department (…) did not investigate and look into the circumstances that caused him to leave his country of origin, failed to collect sufficient data about the situation in Belarus from human rights institutions in Lithuania," reads the press release.

On Thursday, the Minister of Interior Affairs and the Minister of Justice also urged the Migration Department to reconsider the decision.

Lithuanian prosecutors have received several legal assistance requests regarding Zakharchenko from Belarus but does not comment on them.

An appeal against the court ruling to the Supreme Administrative Court can be filed within 14 days.

BNS
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