Interior Minister Says Help Given to Migrants by NGOs Not Illegal

By , 18 Jun 2019, 11:44 AM Politics
Interior Minister Says Help Given to Migrants by NGOs Not Illegal www.unhcr.org

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STA, 17 June 2019 - The aid provided to migrants by the Legal and Information Centre (PIC), a group of NGOs, does not constitute a crime, Interior Minister Boštjan Poklukar told the National Assembly during questions time on Monday. He was answering a question from the opposition Democrats (SDS), who are appalled that these NGOs get state funding.

This comes less than a month after PIC president Katarina Bervar Sternad was reported to the police by Zmago Jelinčič, the president of the opposition National Party (SNS).

Poklukar confirmed today that the police saw an increase in the number of times PIC informed the police of illegal migrants entering the country.

Apart from informing the police of the migrants' location, PIC also sent to the police their names and informed them of the migrants' medical state, Poklukar said.

The minister said that migrants had told the police a PIC representative had given them directions, handed out leaflets with directions and advised them on how to conduct themselves in police proceedings and other procedures.

Both the relevant District Prosecution and the Supreme State Prosecution shared the view that PIC's actions did not amount to a crime, according to Poklukar.

The Supreme Prosecution also said that PIC's activities would have been criminal if they were done for financial gain, the minister added.

The answer was provided to SDS deputy Branko Grims, who said in his question that PIC was actively helping migrants in abusing the asylum procedure.

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