Citation: 2020 RLLR 144
Tribunal: Refugee Protection Division
Date of Decision: November 25, 2020
Panel: Bonita Small
Counsel for the Claimant(s): Larry W. Smeets
RPD Number: VB9-09903
Associated RPD Number(s):
ATIP Number: A-2021-01106
ATIP Pages: 000174-000177
 MEMBER: So, these are the reasons for the decision in the claim of [XXX], a citizen of Cameroon who is claiming refugee protection pursuant to Section 96 and 97(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.
 The allegations are that the claimant fears persecution at the hands of the Cameroon State authorities on the basis of his political views and in particular, his affiliation with the Southern Cameroons National Council, also known as the SCNC.
 My determination is that I find that the claimant is a Convention refugee.
 In terms of identity, I note that the claimant did enter the country on a false identity, i.e. using a passport that is not in his name. He has explained to me, in my opinion, plausible reasons for doing that because he had a warrant outstanding for him in his country and that was his only way of leaving safely. Since that time, he has provided a copy of his passport and his birth certificate and I’m satisfied based on his testimony and the offering of these documents, that he is who he says he is.
 So, I am not, I don’t have a problem with the issue of identity.
 In terms of credibility, I do note that the Minister filed an initial intent to intervene in this matter on the basis of credibility. However, withdrew that intention to intervene late last week.
 So, in terms of my assessment of credibility, when a claimant swears to tell the truth of certain allegations, this creates a presumption that those allegations are true, unless there is reason to doubt their truthfulness. In assessing whether a claimant’s statements are believable, we consider whether the facts presented are detailed, plausible and consistent.
 I find that these criteria are met in this case. I found the claimant convincingly relayed what had happened to him in his written evidence and in his oral testimony.
 I found him to be a credible witness, as it pertains to the central allegations regarding his claim.
 In essence, the claimant has provided evidence that due to his negative experience growing up, as an anglophone in a francophone environment, where he was taxed heavily in the business that he was in, he decided to try to fight l guess, in, for lack of a better word, against the power that the francophones were imbuing in the country. And he decided to join the SCNC, which is an organization known for trying to encourage the rights of anglophones and reduce marginalization of anglophones in his country. As part of his membership in this organization, he participated in the organization of protests and arranged for transportation of the members to and from marches. He was detained for the first time in 2011 for about seven days, after participating in a march to promote the vision of an independent anglophone Cameroon. He recalls being forced into a cell with about five hundred people, where there was no toilet and he was denied food and drink. In 2016, he was again detained but this time was released after about one day. The third and final march he participated in took place on [XXX] the [XXX], 2017. From that march, he was charged with a number of offences and imprisoned in Buea for approximately four months, from [XXX] 2017 until [XXX] 2018. Eventually, he was released on bail after getting help from his lawyer and his family. In [XXX] 2018, his drivers had been transporting food to a village called [XXX] (ph). They heard gunshots, parked the trucks and ran. The village ended up being burned by the State military. The claimant did not appear for the trial of, on the charges that he was charged with because he feared that he would not receive due process. He went into hiding for about a year and was informed by his lawyer that an arrest warrant had been issued for him in [XXX] 2018. Finally, he obtained a visitor for fear of being discovered in his country, he obtained a visitor to, visa to Canada under a false name and left Cameroon on [XXX] 2019. He has not seen his family since [XXX] 2018.
 I find that the claimant has provided solid corroborative evidence that supports his allegations. For example, he has provided a copy of his membership card with the SNC-, SCNC, I’m noting that he’s contributed from the years 2013, 2019. I’ve also been provided with a copy of the warrant, which the claimant testified today was provided to him by his lawyer. I’ve also been provided with copies of the boarding pass that he used to get out of his country, which shows that it was in a different name than it-, the name given, which supports his subjective fear that he would have been arrested had he used his real name if he’d gone to the airport, or if he had gone through the airport on his own name. And I also have an affidavit from his lawyer, who supports his political beliefs and also the chronology of events, as it pertains to the arrest warrant and the jumping of bail.
 So, based on these documents and based on the testimony and the narrative of the claimant, I find that there is sufficient evidence on the balance of probabilities, that supports the claimant’s credibility.
 In terms of the Nexus, I find the Nexus here is a Convention ground of political opinion and I’ve also looked at the country documents and find that they do also support the claimant’s political beliefs. Cameroon, a bilingual and multicultural company-, country that was known for its stability and its strong alliances with France and the U.S., is apparently slipping into a protracted human rights crisis, in the largely anglophone northwest and southwest regions that border Nigeria. Since late 2016, anglophone activists who have long complained of the regions perceived marginalization by the francophone majority, have mobilized significant segments of the anglophone population to demand more political autonomy or succession and this is found in Exhibit 3, the National Documentation Package at Tab 2.7. In a recent Freedom House report of 2019, it’s noted that the conflict between security forces and separists-, separatists in the anglophone northwest and southwest regions has intensified, resulting in widespread civilian deaths and displacements and that’s found in Tab 2.3 of the National Documentation Package. Human Rights Watch reported that government forces killed civilians in a context of the ongoing anglophone crisis. And security forces have set houses on fire, burning to death at least four elderly women left behind by their relatives. They’ve committed extrajudicial executions, burned property, carried out arbitrary arrests and tortured detainees. A Human Rights Watch report documented a range of abuses by both sides in the anglophone regions, including arson attacks on homes and schools. According to the International Crisis Group, government forces and armed separatists killed over 420 civilians since the crisis has escalated in 2017 and that’s at NDP 2.5.
 In my view, the country conditions demonstrate a serious problem between the government and the anglophone activists, of which the claimant is one. I considered his profile as a member of the SCNC and the fact that he has a warrant out for him right now, and the fact that he has testified that the police came to his house looking for him. He used a fake passport to get into this country but has since provided a copy of his real passport. But I understand that using the fake passport was part of his, supports his subjective fear. I’ve considered that he holds a political view that is critical of the government and I have considered the documents that show how the government treats individuals who they perceive to have an opinion that is opposite to them.
 Based on this evidence, I find that the claimant has a well-founded fear of persecution and I find that he faces a serious possibility of persecution from the State, if he were to return to Cameroon, by reason of his political opinion, both real and imputed. In terms of state protection, given that the State is the agent of harm, I find there is no state protection available to the claimant and that it would be objectively unreasonable for him to have sought state protection.
 I find that the presumption of state protection has been rebutted.
 And in terms of an internal flight alternative, given the States’ capacity and pattern of treatment of the critics of the government, given that he has an outstanding warrant for his arrest, I find that he faces a serious possibility of persecution throughout Cameroon.
 Accordingly, I find there is no alternative flight available to the claimant.
 In conclusion, I find that the claimant is a Convention refugee and I accept his claim.
———- REASONS CONCLUDED ———-