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News & Views Monday 24th Augut to Sunday 30th August 2015

CCRC Refers Case of S to Court of Appeal  

(Conviction for possession of a false identity document)

Mr S, an Iranian national, arrived at Manchester Airport in February 2009 on a flight from Brussels. He approached an immigration officer and presented a Danish passport. Home Office checks showed that the passport had been reported as lost or stolen in March 2006.

Mr S admitted that the passport was not his. He told immigration officials that he had left Iran five months earlier and he had travelled through several countries using various false passports provided by agents to whom he had paid thousands of Euros in order to help him leave Iran. He said he was fleeing the country because he believed the authorities there were looking for him in connection with a public demonstration in July 2008 at which he burnt an Iranian flag, and because of his father’s political activities.

Mr S was arrested and subsequently charged with possessing a false identity document with intent contrary to section 25(1) of the Identity Cards Act 2006. On the advice of a solicitor he pleaded guilty at Manchester Crown Court in March 2009 and was sentenced to 12 months’ imprisonment.

In 2012, the Home Office granted him refugee status with five years’ leave to remain. He applied to the Commission for a review of his conviction in August 2013.

Having reviewed the case in detail, the Commission has decided to refer Mr S’s conviction to the Court of Appeal because it considers that the there is a real possibility that the Court will quash his conviction. The referral is made on the basis that Mr S had a statutory defence available to him under section 31 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 to the charge of possession of a false identity document with intent and that the statutory defence would probably have succeeded.

This case is one of several involving asylum seekers and refugees that the Commission has referred to the appeal courts in recent months. Several other cases raising similar issues are currently being investigated by the Commission.

Two articles written by the Commission discussing other cases and explaining the issues and the law in this area can be seen on the Law Society Gazette website  and

Clashes at Germany's Heidenau Asylum Centre Alarm Government
Neo-Nazis who hurled bottles and fireworks in Heidenau are a despised minority. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has strongly condemned violence at Heidenau asylum seekers' shelter that injured dozens of police officers. Mrs Merkel described the behaviour at some in the eastern town of Heidenau as "abhorrent" and "shameful". Security was increased at the newly-opened centre near Dresden at the weekend after two nights of protests. Left-wing activists staging counter-demonstrations have clashed with the right-wing protesters.
German news magazine Der Spiegel reports that the violence on Friday night followed a demonstration earlier in the evening, called for by a Facebook group linked to the far-right NPD party.
Read more: BBC News, 24/08/2015

UKHO CIG: Iran Kurds

1.1 Basis of Claim

1.1.1 Fear of persecution or serious harm by the Iranian authorities because the person is of Kurdish ethnicity and/or because of their perceived or actual political affiliation.

2. Consideration of Issues

2.1 Is the person’s account credible?

Published on Refworld, 25/08/2015

Putting the Immigration Detention System on Trial

Wednesday 2nd of September 2015
Brixton East Gallery
100 Barrington Road, London, SW9 7JF

Community Hearing Join ‘Movement for Justice’ on Wednesday 2nd of September to put the UK's immigration detention system on trial. This is a racist system that locks up women and men, without a release date, not because they have been charged with anything but because they are not EU citizens - they are refugees and asylum seekers, migrant workers and international students. Some have lived in Britain for most of their lives; many have families here. No judge or jury is involved when someone is detained; the decision is just made on the say-so of an unaccountable Home Office official. Detainees can be your friends or relatives, neighbours in your community or people you see in your school or college, church or mosque
The abuse and injustice of detention creates anger and resistance. More and more detainees and former detainees are speaking out publicly because they know that there is no way detention can be made 'fair' or more 'pleasant,' and they know this system can only be maintained by secrecy and lies.
On 2nd September former detainees will be speaking out in Brixton, at the Movement for Justice community hearing. You will hear their testimony of the reality of detention and the on-going struggles inside the system. You will hear others speaking from inside detention, who will be giving evidence as a direct act of resistance. They will all be making the case for the complete shutting down of the detention system. We will take our vote. It will be the community verdict, because our communities are being intimidated and torn apart by the immigration raids and detention, and because our communities - black, Asian, immigrant, youth, poor and working class - are part of the fight to shut down detention

 Source: Movement for Justice <>

Immigration Helps Our Children's Understanding of the World
Jeremy Corbyn ignited a fresh Labour row over immigration policy last night by claiming that growing up in a multi-cultural society was "good" for children. The Labour leadership frontrunner dismissed calls for the party to advocate tougher border controls in an attempt to win back voters angered by the surge in mass migration over the last decade. And he insisted that rapid population change in local communities was beneficial to youngsters because it helped develop "a very good understanding of the rest of the world". His message during a live radio debate last night provoked concerns that Labour will continue to back open-door border controls if he is elected as the successor to Ed Miliband. And it led to accusations that he had a "London perspective" that was out of touch with millions of former Labour voters who have defected to Ukip.
Read more: Macer Hall, Express, 25/08/2015


Nigeria Gender-Based Discrimination/Harm/Violence Against Women

UKHO CIG: 1. Introduction

1.1 Basis of Claim

1.1.1 Fear of gender-based persecution or serious harm by state and/or non-state actors.

1.1.2 A person’s gender may also be a contributory factor in relation to other risk categories. Decision makers must therefore also refer to other relevant Nigeria Country Information and Guidance on the category concerned. See also the Asylum Instruction on gender issues in the asylum claim.

1.1.3 This document provides country information and guidance on domestic violence, witchcraft and traditional harmful practices, such as forced marriage or female genital mutilation (FGM). For CIG on handling claims based on a fear of being trafficked / re-trafficked

Published on Refworld, 26/08/2015

Macedonia: Stop Police Violence Against Migrants
Authorities should ensure an immediate end to the police violence against migrants at the country’s southern border with Greece, Human Rights Watch said today. The authorities should investigate the use of stun grenades, teargas, and rubber bullets on August 21, 2015, the day after the Macedonia government declared a state of emergency and sealed its border. Those found responsible for unlawful use of force, including those with chain-of-command responsibility, should be held accountable.
“These are very serious allegations of excessive force by the Macedonian police firing at people seeking protection,” said Emina ?erimovi?, research fellow at Human Rights Watch. “Macedonian authorities should be protecting migrants, including children and those among them who may be fleeing war and persecution, not giving the police a green light to fire at them.”
Read more: Human Rights Watch, 22/08/2015

Fear of FGM as "Grounds for Seeking Asylum"
A Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) workshop (not free) is rescheduled to take place on Wednesday 11th November 2015 in Oxford. FGM is child abuse and torture. It is illegal in the UK, but the Home Office is consistently rejecting claims to refugee status made by women and girls who seek asylum because they fear they will be subjected to FGM if forced to return to their home countries.his workshop will introduce participants to the types of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM); the laws against FGM in the UK and international law; the countries from where you may expect to receive asylum seekers; the potential health risk that result from FGM; how the fear of FGM is grounds for claiming asylum, constitutes child abuse, and where the claimant is an adult, FGM amounts to torture, inhumane and degrading treatment.

Topics reviewed will teach participants about the practice of FGM and its potential physical and psychological consequences. Participants will engage with UK case law on FGM; learn to improve interviewing techniques; to provide imp representation to clients by engaging specialized County of Origin Information (COI) expert statements; and to anticipate and counter arguments for rejecting asylum claims based on FGM/C that may be mounted by Home Office Presenting Officers.

Full registration information details and the full list of speakers
can be found here . . . . .

UKHO CIG: Albania: Background Information, Including Actors of Protection, and Internal Relocation

1. Introduction 

1.1 Summary of Issues to Consider 

1.1.1 In general, are those at risk able to seek effective protection? 
1.1.2 In general, are those at risk able to internally relocate? 

Published on Refworld, 26/08/2015

Last updated 27 August, 2015