Ministry bans indiscriminate stopping of migrants

Internal memo to be circulated on Monday

The Interior Ministry is expected on Monday to issue an internal memo to law enforcement bodies to prevent the indiscriminate stopping of people suspected of being illegal migrants.

The memo does not allude to any allegation that has been brought up in the past by NGOs, which say that police are illegally stopping people at bus stops and Metro stations because they appear to be foreign-born.

The ministry’s memo simply tells police officers “to avoid any practice that entails unjust restriction of rights and liberties of migrants.”

For years, NGOs have filed complaints with the Interior Ministry charging that officers were stopping people because of the way they dressed or because of the color of their skin. Interior officials have always denied the allegations.

According to ministry officials, authorities want to clear up any type of ambiguities concerning such practices. But one of the rules in the internal memo will tell officers to stop taking migrants to police stations just because they do not have their identification papers with them. Interior officials also want to prevent large police raids that have taken place in certain areas of cities where migrants usually gather.

The objective, according to Interior officials, is “to put down in writing” certain criteria “to avoid any misinterpretations” of the law.

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