SEOUL, Jul. 19 (Korea Bizwire) — New allegations have surfaced claiming a government official who acted as a translator for immigration officials and various refugee applicants had, on numerous occasions, made up information that factored in to the government’s decision to refuse refugee status.
NANCEN, an NGO that assists refugees, held a press conference in Jung-gu, Seoul yesterday, urging the Ministry of Justice to stop the malicious immigration process and to “guarantee refugee applicants the right to have a proper immigration process” before submitting a petition to the National Human Rights Commission of Korea.
A spokesperson for NANCEN said that 19 cases of complaints about falsely construed interview transcripts have been submitted to the organization, as 19 refugee applicants from Libya, Morocco, Sudan and Egypt claimed that they were victims of the same translator who was present during interviews with immigration officials.
Contrary to what official documents suggest, the refugee applicants say that they were only interviewed briefly about basic personal information and were not asked more important questions such as why they were applying for refugee status.
All 19 applicants were eventually denied official refugee status. A court previously ruled that the interviews were poorly performed, ordering that the denied refugee claims be cancelled.
NANCEN said that a measure to compensate the refugees who were denied refugee status must be put in place for the mental and actual damages that had stemmed from the decision.
In addition, NANCEN asked that the civil servant who was in charge of writing up the false documents be held responsible, and to investigate whether or not similar instances had taken place previously.
H. S. Seo (firstname.lastname@example.org)