This week the whole world realized the importance of the work of translators. Ana Paula Maciel, the biologist from Rio Grande do Sul arrested by Russian authorities while participating in a Greenpeace protest against oil exploration in the Arctic, is waiting for a decision by the local courts on her appeal. The court has postponed the session indefinitely for lack of a Russian-Portuguese translator to provide the consecutive and simultaneous interpretation services need to conduct the case. According the Russian law, the individual must be a sworn translator.
The biologist and another 29 detained Greenpeace activists could face prison sentences of up to 15 years if convicted. So far, the Russian judicial system has denied a request for the provisional release of 15 people, even on bail.