Proving Torture, Seeking Asylum

(New York Times) Dr. Ramin Asgary examining a West African immigrant’s scars for evidence of torture, which could help him gain asylum.

Proving Torture, to Help Win Asylum
The New York Times
Preview: “A man from Mauritania sat stone-faced, cradling his head, which bore a scar that marked the spot where his master had gouged him with a piece of firewood, he told the doctor. A Congolese businessman showed a deformed knee that, to the doctor’s trained eye, indicated a forced fracture. And a man from Southeast Asia was sure that a mark on his lower torso was evidence of a beating with a bat, though a medical examination showed that it was a sign of a fungal infection.”

Getting asylum the luck of the draw?
The Star
Preview: “If you were a refugee seeking protection in Canada, you wouldn’t want to cross the path of David McBean.An adjudicator appointed to the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB) since 2007, McBean sat on the hearings of 62 refugee cases in 2010 from Belize to Trinidad — and not a single asylum claim was granted. The same was true in 2009 and 2008.”

Torture, Rape and Murder for Money in the Desert
Asmarino Independent
Preview: “Hotline for Migrant Workers recently published a report entitled Trafficking, Slavery, Torture and Rape Victims among Asylum Seekers on their way to Israel http://www.hotline.org.il/english/pdf/Testimonies_from_sinay_122010.pdf. It details the suffering of the 12,000 people who were smuggled to Israel through the Egyptian border in 2010. Many Eritreans and Ethiopians, once reaching Egypt, were kept as hostages in inhumane conditions until a ransom was paid for their release by family members in wealthy countries. Some were told that they would be sold to organ traders if their relatives did not pay, claiming that they could get $25,000 for a kidney.”

Asylum seekers: Libya’s hidden crisis
Times of Malta
Preview: “‘There are reports that Sub-Saharan Africans are being indiscriminately stabbed and killed with knives and machetes in the city of Benghazi. We have information that at least two Eritreans were killed and several others were stabbed and injured,’ says an open letter to the international community signed by Goitom Yosief Asmelash, spokesman for the Eritrean Community in Malta.”

Degar-Montagnards: Cambodia Must Uphold Asylum Rights
Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization
Preview: “Despite the fact that the UN refuge centre is now closed, according to international standards Montagnards basic right to seek asylum cannot be denied and must be protected.”

ALMENDRAS v. HOLDER
No. 06-74831.
“Myson Pagarigan Almendras and Andrew Pagarigan Almendras, natives and citizens of the Philippines, petition for review of the Board of Immigration Appeals’ order dismissing their appeal from an immigration judge’s decision denying their application for asylum, withholding of removal, and protection under the Convention Against Torture (“CAT”). We review for substantial evidence factual findings, Nagoulko v. INS, 333 F.3d 1012, 1015 (9th Cir. 2003), and de novo claims of due process violations in removal proceedings, Colmenar v. INS, 210 F.3d 967, 971 (9th Cir. 2000). We deny the petition for review.”

RAHMAN v. HOLDER
No. 08-70867.
“Mofizur Rahman, native and citizen of Bangladesh, petitions for review of a Board of Immigration Appeals’ order dismissing his appeal from an immigration judge’s (“IJ”) decision denying his application for asylum, withholding of removal, and relief under the Convention Against Torture (“CAT”). We have jurisdiction under 8 U.S.C. § 1252. We review for substantial evidence factual findings. Farah v. Ashcroft, 348 F.3d 1153, 1156 (9th Cir. 2003). We deny the petition for review.”

MEIZHEN XIA v. HOLDER
No. 10-979-ag-NAC.
“UPON DUE CONSIDERATION of this petition for review of a Board of Immigration Appeals (“BIA”) decision, it is hereby ORDERED, ADJUDGED, AND DECREED that the petition for review is DENIED.Meizhen Xia, a native and citizen of the People’s Republic of China, seeks review of a March 9, 2010 order of the BIA denying Xia’s motion to remand and affirming the December 19, 2008 decision of Immigration Judge (“IJ”) George T. Chew, which pretermitted her application for asylum as untimely and denied her application for withholding of removal and relief under the Convention Against Torture (“CAT”). In re Meizhen Xia, No. A089 254 386 (B.I.A. Mar. 9, 2010), aff’g No. A089 254 386 (Immig. Ct. N.Y. City Dec. 19, 2008). We assume the parties’ familiarity with the underlying facts and procedural history of this case.”

Federal anti-smuggling bill cracks down on asylum seekers
The McGill Daily
Preview: “More than eighty human rights and civil society groups across Canada have come out in force against an anti-smuggling bill proposed by the federal government, calling for the legislation to be defeated in an upcoming session of Parliament. The bill received its first reading in the House of Commons last week.”

Torture and the Law
Amnesty International
Preview: “Torture cannot be defined by a list of prohibited practices. Human rights treaties define it in a number of different ways, reflecting the different contexts in which they were drafted and the purposes of each particular treaty.
The Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1984 and entered into force on June 26, 1987.”

United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment

CHAPTER 113C—TORTURE
U.S. Code
Cornell University Law School

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