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(HLN) Interpreters can not handle the abundance of illegal immigrants from Eritrea

Posted by: Semere Asmelash

Date: Friday, 08 March 2019

Inflow of illegal immigrants from Eritrea causes shortage of interpreters

 Photo Proot According to council member Jean-Marie De Plancke, the 'Brugge - Zeehaven' sign should be 'Haven Zeebrugge'.
BRUGES For months there has been an influx of refugees from Eritrea who are spotted around the port of Zeebrugge. The police picked up 25 on Wednesday at once. But that creates the necessary problems: many Eritreans are only the Tigrinya powerful, the most spoken language in their homeland. "There are too few interpreters who speak that language, and so we often can not hear those people as we want", explains attorney Frank Demeester.

These are again busy times for the Shipping Police in Zeebrugge. Transmigrants are still urgently entering the port and Wednesday, as many as 25 refugees suddenly did. When the police were arrested, all turned out to be men and women from Eritrea. For months they have noticed in the port that more and more Eritreans want to penetrate the port in order to reach the United Kingdom to their final destination. A problem that is not only noticed in Zeebrugge. For example, Polder police picked up 11 more illegal immigrants on Thursday in two actions. In a French imposition that destination Calais had but ended up through the closed border in Houthulst eight men and women were hidden. And on a Lijnbus direction Ieper there were three more. Their nationality? All from Eritrea.

Interrogate important for information

And those interrogations are important. "Both the public prosecutor and the police make it a point to be able to hear so many of those people", says attorney Frank Demeester. "After all, those people can give us important and necessary information about their journey and who helped them to get this far. By what they say we can sometimes gather information about people smuggling organizations behind their crossing. Their interrogation thus contributes to our research in important information. Only there have been many more Eritreans for months than before and there are too few interpreters who speak Tigrinya. That is usually the only language that people speak. Communicating with them in a different way is usually impossible. And so we unfortunately can not always answer these people. They are problems they face in other districts too.

Interpreters can not handle the abundance of illegal immigrants from Eritrea

By Jonas Naeyaert - 8 March 2019 

The port of Zeebrugge remains plagued by large groups of so-called 'transit migrants': Migrants who illegally travel through Europe with the UK as target destination, mostly from (Black-) Africa. Many of them claim to come from Eritrea. But that makes the interview and other operations difficult. There is a chronic shortage of interpreters in Tigrinya, the most spoken language in the East African country. That brings Het Nieuwsblad .

On Wednesday, dozens of transit migrants again entered the port of Zeebrugge. They wanted / wanted to reach the UK, just like their many 'colleagues', which is illegal given that you have to apply for asylum in the first EU country to enter. This time around 25 of them were arrested. 13 of the illegal immigrants claim to be from Eritrea. But that makes it difficult to question. There are hardly any interpreters Tigrinya available. And those interpreters need the police, not so much to prosecute transit migrants - given that most of the arrested illegal immigrants are released - but to map out networks of people smugglers. Tear-off commands are equally at risk.

Parket Bruges about illegal immigrants:  "We are not the only ones that are faced with that problem"

"[Here] we often can not hear those people and even the biggest polyglot can not communicate with those people" , says Frank Demeester , attorney at the Bruges public prosecutor, at Het Nieuwsblad.  "The lack of interpreters also has negative consequences for our major investigations into smuggling organizations. We are not the only ones with that problem. Our colleagues from other districts also have the same problem. "

As a result of the interpreter deficit, the police can question less and fewer illegal immigrants. However, the police want to do this as much as possible in order to obtain a picture of any human smuggling groups that are responsible for a large part of the (transit) migration. But not just questioning becomes difficult to impossible. "Not only in those interrogations. But also in the elaboration of monitoring measures, we are running a considerable delay. And that while in those files often people are in custody. "

(Software translation) 

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