Thessaloniki: The 27-year-old deaf who had been charged with shoplifting

The 27-year-old deaf person who was arrested charged with theft in a supermarket in the area of Eusmos was released without any restrictions. By letter to the RES – ICM and referring to yesterday’s telegram entitled “They did not find an interpreter of sign language”, the Association of Greek Sign Language Interpretors points out that it never received – as the only body representing professional ENG interpreters in Greece – any request from the authorities to provide interpretation in the specific case of deafness in Thessaloniki, both during police questioning and during the main interrogation, nor did the Federation of Deaf Greeks, the National Foundation of Deaf or individual professional interpreters receive a corresponding request. “We have never received, as the only body representing professional ENG interpreters in Greece, any request from the authorities for interpretation in this case. And, as Interpreting Programs for deaf and hearing fellow citizens are being prepared by certain bodies – the Federation of Deaf Greece and the National Foundation of Deaf – the Association contacted them to receive the answer that they did not receive any corresponding request either. But neither did individual colleagues living in Thessaloniki receive personal information about the need to provide such interpretation content,” the letter states. ‘Therefore,’ is clarified, ‘the failure to meet the reported need of the arrested is not due to the fact that the competent bodies or fellow interpreters have not responded, but to the fact that the correct procedures have not been complied with by the competent agencies in finding an interpreter’. Furthermore, the SPENG expresses its concern that interpretation was ultimately covered by a relative person of the arrested. “The fact that relatives stated they knew the sign language does not enable them to undertake an interpretation, with all the ethics rules required” is noted. This case, mentioned in the same letter, highlights the need to recruit interpreters in key positions, such as the Security Departments, the Prosecutors, the Courts, as well as – according to the DPENG – “the finding of an interpreter cannot be resolved every time “ad hoc”, but must be a stable and non-negotiable provision to deaf and heavy citizens, also under the Constitution.”