Categories
All Countries Cameroon

2020 RLLR 144

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
Country: Cameroon
RPD Number: VB9-09903
Associated RPD Number(s):
ATIP Number: A-2021-01106
ATIP Pages: 000174-000177

DECISION

[1]       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.

[2]       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.

[3]       My determination is that I find that the claimant is a Convention refugee.

[4]       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.

[5]       So, I am not, I don’t have a problem with the issue of identity.

[6]       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.

[7]       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.

[8]       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.

[9]       I found him to be a credible witness, as it pertains to the central allegations regarding his claim.

[10]     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.

[11]     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.

[12]     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.

[13]     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.

[14]     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.

[15]     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.

[16]     I find that the presumption of state protection has been rebutted.

[17]     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.

[18]     Accordingly, I find there is no alternative flight available to the claimant.

[19]     In conclusion, I find that the claimant is a Convention refugee and I accept his claim.

———- REASONS CONCLUDED ———-

Categories
All Countries Cameroon

2020 RLLR 93

Citation: 2020 RLLR 93
Tribunal: Refugee Protection Division
Date of Decision: October 15, 2020
Panel: Torwoli Dzuali
Counsel for the Claimant(s): Laura Setzer
Country: Cameroon
RPD Number: MB8-27684
Associated RPD Number(s):
ATIP Number: A-2021-00945
ATIP Pages: 000035-000038

DECISION

[1]       MEMBER: So, the claimant, [XXX], is a citizen of Cameroon claiming refugee protection in Canada pursuant to s. 96 and subsection 97(1) of Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.  In hearing and deciding your claim, I apply the Chairperson’s Guidelines 4 on women refugee claimants fearing gender-related persecution.

[2]       And the decision I find that you are a Convention refugee under s. 96 of Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Protection Act as you face a possibility of persecution in Cameroon based on your membership in a particular social group, that being the anglophone minority in Cameroon.

[3]       As far as your allegations, in summary, you submit that you are a member of the minority anglophone community which has been marginalized and discriminated against by the francophone majority in Cameroon.

[4]       You allege that your father was a traditional leader in your hometown of [XXX] who was actively involved in speaking out for the rights of the anglophone minority and that he also supported anglophone separatist fighters.

[5]       On [XXX] the [XXX] 2018, you allege that military personnel came to your house in [XXX] looking for your father. And to escape, you ran into the bush and walked for hours to your aunt’s house in a neighbouring town.  You allege that the military returned a few days later and broke into your house.  You further allege that your father is still missing and that some of his close friends were killed by the military.

[6]       You departed Cameroon on [XXX] the [XXX], 2018, and arrived in Canada on [XXX] — sorry, you departed on [XXX] and arrived in Canada [XXX] of 2018.  And you filed for your refugee protection claim on [XXX] the [XXX] of 2018.

[7]       (audio cuts out) that you are afraid to return to Cameroon because of the continued harms (ph) perpetrated against anglophones by the government and also that you fear separatist fighters who might target you because they believe you have funds as a result of you living abroad.

[8]       As far as your identity, this was established by certified copy of your Cameroon passport and your birth certificate.

[9]       Regarding credibility, overall, I found you to be a credible witness and believe the allegations in your claim. You testified in a straightforward manner and there were no inconsistencies in your testimony or contradictions between your testimony, your BOC narrative, and the documentary evidence before me.

[10]     To support your claim, you provided documentary evidence, including sworn statements from your mother and two aunties corroborating the events described in your narrative and testimony.  You also provided articles about the ongoing conflict and the situation of anglophones in Cameroon.

[11]     You established your identity as a member of the minority anglophone community through your credible testimony and the documentary evidence, including your birth certificate which shows that you and your parents were born in anglophone areas of Cameroon, documents from your elementary, secondary, and tertiary schooling in Cameroon at English institutions, and a sworn statement from your mother corroborating your allegations.

[12]     You testified credibly about the events that occurred in Cameroon causing you to flee your home and your concerns about your father who is still missing and your other family members who have been displaced.  You also testified credibly about the ongoing conflict in Cameroon and your fears of the harm that you might face if you were to return.

[13]     Your allegations about the persecution of anglophones in Cameroon were supported by the objective documentary evidence.  Reports in the National Documentation Package at tabs 2, 4, and 13 indicate ongoing conflict in the northwest and southwest anglophone regions of Cameroon.  There are reports of widespread human rights abuses carried out by government security forces against civilian anglophone populations, including extra judicial killings, torture, arbitrary arrest, sexual violence against women, and massive displacements of civilian populations.  The reports also note atrocities being carried out by non-­state separatist fighters.  The documentary evidence highlights the longstanding marginalization of the anglophone population and restrictions on their rights to political expression and freedom of expression with reports of people being arrested and killed for violating these restrictions.

[14]     Overall, considering your testimony and the documentary evidence, I find that you have established on a balance of probabilities that you have a subjective fear of persecution in Cameroon based on your membership in the anglophone minority, which is objectively founded.

[15]     I also considered state protection.  The objective evidence supports your allegations that government security forces are the primary agents of persecution.  And accordingly, I find that it would be unreasonable for you to seek state protection.

[16]     I also considered whether you have a viable internal flight alternative in Cameroon.  Considering that the government is the primary agent of harm here and the objective evidence, which shows that persecution of anglophones across the county, I find that you do not have a viable internal alternative — sorry, internal flight alternative in Cameroon.

[17]     So, to conclude, having considered ail the documentary evidence and your testimony, I find that you, [XXX], face a serious possibility of persecution under s. 96 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act due to your membership in a particular social group, the anglophone minority in Cameroon.  Accordingly, I find that you are a Convention refugee and I accept your claim for refugee protection.

[18]     COUNSEL: Thank you.

[19]     CLAIMANT: Thank you.

[20]     MEMBER: So, thank you very much for your participation today.  And congratulations, and I do wish you all the very best.

[21]     CLAIMANT: Thank you.

[22]     COUNSEL: Thanks very much.

[23]     MEMBER: So, this hearing is now concluded.  The time is 10:37 a.m.

[24]     COUNSEL: Thanks.

[25]     MEMBER: Thank you.

[26]     CLAIMANT: Thank you.

[27]     COUNSEL: Okay.

—————–REASONS CONCLUDED —————–

Categories
All Countries Cameroon

2019 RLLR 122

Citation: 2019 RLLR 122
Tribunal: Refugee Protection Division
Date of Decision: February 19, 2019
Panel: R. Jackson
Counsel for the Claimant(s): Solomon Orjiwuru
Country: Cameroon
RPD Number: TB7-12430
ATIP Number: A-2021-00256
ATIP Pages: 000026-000029


DECISION

[1]       MEMBER: This is the decision of [XXX], who claims to be a citizen of Cameroon and is claiming refugee protection pursuant to Sections 96 and 97(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

[2]       The panel finds the claimant is a Convention Refugee on the grounds of his membership in a particular social group, that of bisexual man in Cameroon, for the following reasons.

[3]       In rendering its reasons, the panel has considered the Chairperson’s Guideline Number 9 proceedings before the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada involving sexual orientation and gender identity and expression.

[4]       The claimant has alleged that he identifies as bisexual. He alleges he has had a few same-sex relationships in Cameroon. He was married to a woman in Canada and they have divorced because she discovered that he had been carrying on a same-sex relationship in Canada.

[5]       He claimed refugee protection as he cannot live openly as a bisexual in Cameroon and fears persecution, arrest and discrimination at the hands of the family of his ex-wife, the community and the government due to his sexual orientation.

[6]       The claimant’s identity as a national of Cameroon is established by his testimony and the supporting documentation filed including a certified true copy of his passport in Exhibit 1.

[7]       His identity as a bisexual is established by his credible testimony and the supporting documentation filed including a letter from the claimant’s mother, a copy of her identity card, a letter from the claimant’s former landlord as well as the claimant’s divorce documents, wherein his sexual orientation is discussed. The supporting documentation does not establish the claimant’s sexual orientation all by itself, but it does support his allegations in that regard.

[8]       The claimant’s testimony regarding his sexual orientation was believable including how he described his relationships with his same-sex partners in Cameroon and in Canada.

[9]       The panel accepts that the claimant is bisexual because, in that regard, his testimony was coherent, spontaneous and he generally provided a sufficient level of detail when explaining his same-sex relationships with men. For these reasons, the panel finds that he has established his identity as a bisexual man on a balance of probabilities.

[10]     The panel also finds that his allegations are supported by the country documentation, which is found at the National Documentation Package for Cameroon, Items 2.1, 6.1, 6.4 and 6.6, which indicate that consensual same-sex sexual activity is illegal and punishable by a prison sentence of 6 months to 5 years and a fine.

[11]     Cameroon prosecutes people for consensual same-sex conduct more aggressively than almost any country in the world. Cameroon’s anti-homosexuality law is easily subject to abuse and can be used by virtually anyone as a method of settling scores.

[12]     It is also a recipe for extortion. There are numerous examples of sexual minorities who were arrested or who were victims of violence, similarly grave violations of human rights because of a person’s real or perceived sexual orientation has become common in Cameroon.

[13]     The climate in that country is marked by pervasive homophobia. Ordinary citizens often express extreme hatred towards LGBT individuals. In Cameroon, it is common to link homosexuality to witchcraft.

[14]     Given the claimant’s credible testimony, the objective country condition evidence and the supporting documents the claimant filed, the panel finds that the claimant would face a serious possibility of persecution in Cameroon based on his sexual orientation.

[15]     Based on his personal circumstances, the panel finds that it would be objectively unreasonable for him to seek the protection of the State, and in any event the State protection would not be reasonably forthcoming; the police are one of the agents of persecution.

[16]     It is very clear from the objective documentation that there is no State protection available to sexual minorities in Cameroon, same-sex acts are illegal in Cameroon and the NDP indicates that police do arrest people for engaging in consensual same-sex sexual activity.

[17]     A report by the Finnish Immigration Service at Item 6.4 states that when LGBTI people seek protection from abuse in their communities, police officers fail to protect these individuals.

[18]     Police officers not only discriminate against LGBTI individuals, but also engage in harassment and violence against them. The threat of arrest for homosexual conduct can deter LGBTI individuals from reporting crimes committed against them, and those committing the abuse have done so with impunity.

[19]     Given the documentary evidence, the panel finds there is clear and convincing evidence that adequate State protection is not available to the claimant.

[20]     The panel has considered whether a viable internal flight alternative exists for the claimant. On the evidence before the panel, there is a serious possibility of persecution throughout Cameroon.

[21]     Given that homophobia is widespread in Cameroon, the homosexual acts are illegal throughout all of Cameroon and there is no State protection throughout the whole of Cameroon, the panel finds there is no place the claimant could go in Cameroon where he could live openly as a bisexual man. For these reasons, the panel finds there is no viable internal flight alternative for him.

[22]     So, in conclusion, the panel finds that he is a Convention refugee and therefore accepts his claim.

[23]     This hearing is now concluded. So, thank you both for your participation today.

[24]     COUNSEL: Thank you so much.

[25]     CLAIMANT: Thank you.

[26]     MEMBER: You’re welcome.

———- REASONS CONCLUDED ———-

Categories
All Countries Cameroon

2019 RLLR 121

Citation: 2019 RLLR 121
Tribunal: Refugee Protection Division
Date of Decision: August 19, 2019
Panel: W. Short
Counsel for the Claimant(s): Pablo Andres Irribarra Valdes
Country: Cameroon
RPD Number: TB7-23504
ATIP Number: A-2021-00256
ATIP Pages: 000023-000025


DECISION

[1]       MEMBER: This is my decision with respect to the claim of [XXX]. This is a 22-year-old man who is a citizen of Cameroon and he claims to be a Convention Refugee or a person in need of protection pursuant to the provisions of Section 96 and Subsection 97.1 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

[2]       The claimant alleges that should he return to Cameroon he would be in danger of his life and safety because of his sexual orientation as a gay man.

[3]       The claimant alleges that he became aware of his sexuality at around the age of 15 when he discovered while participating in sports he was much more attracted to his fellow male players and he was not attracted at all to females.

[4]       His problems became manifest when he was caught having an affair according to his evidence with a student teacher. He has also given oral evidence today as to how he was attacked by a mob and was rescued by the police but he was also arrested and he was put in hospital and the police checked on him every day.

[5]       He has testified to the fact that he has a couple of friends, male friends in Canada and I am satisfied on the balance of probabilities that the individual is a gay man.

[6]       I noticed that he arrived in Canada on [XXX], 2017 but did not claim refugee protection until two months later. When he was in Canada at first he was on a student visa.

[7]       Now, the student visa had been illegally obtained but I still take the approach that since it would have been difficult for the authorities to have deported the claimant during those two months he should be forgiven for the delay. He also said that he did not realize that he would apply immediately for refugee protection but was advised so by the gay help group, 519.

[8]       Therefore, I have determined that should the claimant return to Cameroon he would face more than a mere possibility of persecution on account of his sexuality which is a connection to one of the five grounds which define a Convention Refugee.

[9]       I am looking at Item 6.1 of the National Documentation Package. This is response to information request by this board and it is CMR106270.FE, it is dated May 8, 2019 and it says according to sources homosexual acts are illegal in Cameroon and the Penal Code provides for up to five years in prison for sexual activity with a same-sex partner.

[10]     Sources report that the section of the law penalizing homosexuality was retained during a reform of the Penal Code adopted in 2016. The Penal Code provides that whoever has sexual relations with a person of the same sex shall be punished by imprisonment from six months to five years and to a fine. Sources report that sexual minorities are subject to arrest and prosecution.

[11]     Cameroon prosecutes people with consensual same-sex conduct more aggressively than almost any other country in the word this report says; quoting an NGO. According to sources arrests and prosecution are based on suspicion rather than evidence and the Cameroonian authorities are in the main (inaudible) sexual gender and minorities instead of performing their function of protecting their citizens.

[12]     Not only that but the claimant’s testimony indicates that the attitude of the populous at large is very, very homophobic and it would be dangerous for him to be exposed to these individuals and he could expect no help whatsoever or protection from the police.

[13]     For these reasons I believe that the claimant has made out his case.

[14]     I find that he therefore is a Convention Refugee and his claim for refugee protection is accepted.

[15]     This oral decision will be transcribed into writing and it may be edited for grammar and syntax and we are now off the record.

———- REASONS CONCLUDED ———-

Categories
All Countries Cameroon

2019 RLLR 104

Citation: 2019 RLLR 104
Tribunal: Refugee Protection Division
Date of Decision: November 22, 2019
Panel: Diane Hitayezu-Fall
Counsel for the Claimant(s): Denis Onek Olwedo
Country: Cameroon
RPD Number: TB8-11840
ATIP Number: A-2020-01459
ATIP Pages: 000150-000153


DECISION

[1]       MEMBER: So, I have considered your testimony and the other evidence before me in this case and I’m ready to render my decision orally. So, this is a decision for the claim made by [XXX]. The file number is TB811840. The decision is rendered today, November 22nd, 2019. So, you were claiming to be a citizen of Cameroon and you are claiming refugee protection under Sections 96 and 97 of the Immigration and Refugee Act. So, my-, I have found you to be a refugee for the following reasons.

[2]       The details of your claim can be found in your Basis of Claim Form that is in Exhibit 2 and you allege that you are an Anglophone Cameroonian. You were born and you grew up in the Anglophone region in Kumba. You allege that you are a member of the Southern Cameroons National Counsel, SCNC. You allege that you have been a member since September 2009 and that because of your membership in the SCNC and your political activities, you have been mistreated by the government agents.

[3]       You allege that your life would be at risk if you were to return to Cameroon. And you allege that the-, the government agents who have mistreated you in the past and have been mistreating members of the SCNC will arrest you, detain you, torture you or even kill you. So, as I said, I found you, that you are Convention refugee, as you have established a serious possibility of persecution on account of your political opinion and political activities.

[4]       In terms of identity, I find that your identity is established by your testimony and the supporting documentation you have provided, which include, ele-, p-, Republic of Cameroon passport which is in Exhibit 1, document we received IRCC and your acad-, your academic documents in Exhibit 5. I find that your personal identity and the National, your National identity have been established as a commun-, a citizen of Cameroon. I assessed your credibility and I find-, I found you to be credible, you have been a credible witness and I believe what you have alleged in support of your claim.

[5]       You testified in a straight forward manner and you answered directly the questions. At the end of the hearing, there were no unexplained omissions. And I note, I did not note any contradictions between what your declared in your BOC, Basis of Claim and other forms in your testimony today. I noted, some mistakes on your documents, on the documents you submitted, spelling mistakes in the French portions of your document. I asked you about it and you could not explain how it happened. You only indicated that, it happened. However, I considered your oral testimony that was oral-, overall, candid, spontaneous and detailed. And it was detailed in all aspects of the claim, your passion, your activities as a member of SCNC and your activities in Canada. And I found that, the mistakes on the document would not overweigh your other portions of test-, testimony in the other documents you have provided.

[6]       So, in support of your allegations you have provided a number of documents that support your allegations. For your membership in SCNC, you provided your membership card that you obtained in September 2009 and then attestation of membership from SCNC dated October 30th, 2019. You have provided some letters from members who attest of your membership. Some SCNC leaders provided letter of supports, attesting that you attended meetings and that they knew about your arrest, detentions and your escape. I- it would not the-, in Exhibit 5, page 13 to 17 you provided letters from [XXX] and [XXX] and other people. And with respect to your detention and mistreaten-, mistreaten-, mistreatment in detention, you provided medical note from the hospital that treated you on two occasions after being mistreated in detention. And there are-, those are notes from the, is it [XXX], in Exhibit 5, 6-, pages 16 and 17. You also provided police documents, the bail bonds from 2010 to 2014, you have provide-, provided copies of your, the warrants for your arrest and the convocation to the police.

[7]       I have also the letter from the organization that helped with your release from detention on two occasions, the Human Rights Defence Group that helps SCNC members. After reviewing all this evidence in front of me, I have accepted what you have arranged in your BOC. And I find that you have established a subjective fear based on your political opinion and political activities.

[8]       So, I looked at the objective evidence and I found that the National Documentation Package for Cameroon, May 31st, 2019, contain information that supports your allegations, that as Anglophone and as somebody who is a member of SCNC and has been identified as an anro-, Anglophone who participates in the protest asking for equal rights for Anglophone, you would be persecuted in Cameroon. The objective evidence indicates that there continue to be reports of arrests and disappearances of individuals by security forces, particularly in the Anglophone regions. The National Documentation Package on Cameroon contains many reports on-, on Human Rights that describes the situation and the crisis in those Anglophone regions, item 2.1, 2.2, 2.5. I have other documents, many documents in Items 1-, in Section 1 and Section 4 and those reports, report serious human violation, abuses of civilians by government forces and sometimes Anglophone separatists. And regarding (inaudible) disappearances and people are detained, they are not allowed to contact their families and friends and they are denied access to legal representation and some are detained in an undisclosed location.

[9]       I noted that the Item 2.(inaudible ), the human rights issues highlighted in 2018, in the report for 2018 by the United States Department of States, on Cameroon include the prolonged arbitrary detention of suspected Anglophone separatists by security forces, harsh and life-threatening prison conditions. You testified about, what you endured during the detention and the issue may-, another issue mentioned in this report is that Anglophone Cameroonians are restricted in the rights to freedom of assembly, their freedom to express their political opinion and that the government has arrested, charged and killed in recent years, those who attempted to do so. I have a response to information request that, that tells us that Anglophone regions are located in the North-West, South-West Cameroon, when from. And then, it says that Anglophone are subjected to a policy of ongoing discrimination and they’re all often denied the right to use their language. They are subjected to-, to French legal and education system against their wish. And you have testify-, testified about your experiences in Cameroon, with having to do exams in a-, in French.

[10]     And the, there’s another document in, our response to information request, Item 13.2 and it refers to people living in the diaspora. And they are-, the government accuses them to instigate the war in Cameroon. And they, I know that Canada is involved with the countries name where Cameroonian’s have been sending money, accused of sending money to-, to Cameroon. And this, the documentation in the National Documentation Package says that, anyone is who is vocal will risk-, will be at risk if they go back to Cameroon, they risk to be arrested. Some are arrested at the airport, they-, they are detained and sometimes they would have to bribe, to get out. So, given that you have established by your testimony and the-, the supporting document that you have, come to the attention of the government of Cameroon as a person interested in Anglophone’s cause, you have been detained, interrogated. I find that your-, your fear of persecution is objectively founded. I found that, I find that you, the fear you express is well-founded and you have established that there is a serious possibility of persecution based on an imputed in your-, based on a political opinion.

[11]     I had to verify if state protection would be available to you if you had to go to Cameroon. And I looked at evidence before me and I found that adequate state protection would not be reasonably forthcoming in your particular case. Based on the information on file and given that-, given that the authority in Cameroon, the authorities are your agent of persecution, I find that it is objective-, objectively unreasonable for you to seek protection from the authorities in Cameroon. I find, that I have clear and convincing evidence before me in the objective evidence, as discussed. And I find that there is no adequate state protection available for you in Cameroon. I also, had to verify if you could relocate in Cameroon and I considered whether a viable internal flight alternative exists for you, but on the evidence before me, I find that there is a serious possibility of per-, persecution throughout Cameroon. There-, there are-, there are warrants to arrest you, so it is reasonable to believe that they may be executed anywhere in Cameroon. There is nothing the documentary evidence, that to indicate that Cameroon does not control its territory. I find that there is no internal alternative for you a place in Cameroon where you could express your political opinion without fear of persecution.

[12]     So, in conclusion I find that you are a Convention refugee and I, therefore, accept your claim.

———- REASONS CONCLUDED ———-

Categories
All Countries Cameroon

2019 RLLR 99

Citation: 2019 RLLR 99
Tribunal: Refugee Protection Division
Date of Decision: January 28, 2019
Panel: A. Shaffer
Counsel for the claimant(s): Ugochukwu Udogu
Country: Cameroon
RPD Number: TB8-07480
ATIP Number: A-2020-01459
ATIP Pages: 000114-000118


DECISION

[1]       MEMBER: Okay, I am sorry for the delay again. I took a few moments to consider the evidence and I am going to accept your claim. I just have to read my reasons, okay. It is going to take me a few minutes.

[2]       [XXX], you are a citizen of Cameroon and you are seeking refugee protection pursuant to Sections 96 and 97 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

[3]       Your allegations are more fully set out in your Basis of Claim Form and in your testimony.

[4]       In summary, you allege that you fear persecution based on your political opinion and based on your ethnicity as an Anglophone Cameroonian. I find that you are a Convention refugee for the following reasons.

[5]       I find that you have established your identity on a balance of probabilities based on the certified true copies of your passport on files forwarded to the Refugee protection division by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada.

[6]       I find that you have established a nexus to a Convention ground to your ethnicity as an Anglophone Cameroonian.

[7]       With respect to credibility, I have serious concerns about your alleged Sur Place political opinion. I find much of your evidence about your political activity within the Southern Cameroon’s relief organisation suspect.

[8]       You alleged that you joined the party in early 2017 and attended a protest with this organisation in August 2017. You alleged that this protest is what led you to becoming of interest to the Cameroonian government. I am not persuaded by the evidence you presented on this matter.

[9]       All of your letters from this organisation indicate that you joined the organisation almost a year later than you said you did. You have no reasonable explanation for why you did not bring documentary evidence to correct the alleged error.

[10]     You had no documentary evidence to show that you attend this protest. I am not persuaded based on the evidence before me that you attended this protest.

[11]     I note that your documentary evidence indicates that you joined the organisation either shortly before or after you prepared your refugee claim.

[12]     You did not name the organisation correctly in your BOC, Basis of Claim Form and you had no reasonable explanation for why you would misname an organisation that you had allegedly joined which put your life at risk.

[13]     I had serious concerns about your motivation for joining this organisation and many other concerns about the evidence that you presented with respect to your alleged political activities.

[14]     However, I have no valid reason to doubt that you are an Anglophone from Cameron. I will rely on the Response to Information Request, CMR106141.E even though it was not disclosed prior to the hearing, but because the evidence contained within it is to your benefit.

[15]     I will excerpt the portion that I find particularly relevant, “A joint statement by a group of UN independent experts expressed concerns over reports of the violence in the South West and North West at the end of 2017 where the country’s Anglophone minority was reportedly suffering worsening human rights violations including excessive force by the security services, injuries, mass arrest, arbitrary detentions, torture, and other ill- treatments”, UN November 17th, 2017.

[16]     According to US country report 2017, “there continue to be reports of arrest and disappearances of individuals by security forces in Cameroon’s Anglophone regions, US, April 20th, 2018, 2.

[17]     A report by Amnesty International documents “unlawful killings and extrajudicial executions, destruction of private property, arbitrary arrest and torture committed by the Cameroonian security forces during military operations in the Anglophone regions including the burning down of villages”, Amnesty International, June 12th, 2018, 6.

[18]     Similarly, in correspondence with the research directorate or researcher in transnational African migration indicated that, more than 78 localities in Anglophone Cameroon have been burned down by the Cameroon military and that the civilians are killed on a daily basis, the Researcher, August 9th, 2018.

[19]     Correspondence with a Research Directorate, representative from International Crises Group indicated that in Bamenda, the regional capital of the predominantly Anglophone Northwest region the security of the Anglophones and Francophones too is not guaranteed.

[20]     This is because violence has been rising as a result of confrontation between security forces and armed separatists as well as several abuses on the population committed by both military and armed groups.

[21]     Security and military officers brutalise and then carry out arbitrary arrest, extort money from the population, intimidate girls and boys with guns and even rape girls. The above information on Bamenda also applies to Buea, Kumba, Menji, Mamfe, Bangu and other Anglophone localities especially rural areas”. International Crises Groups, August 3rd, 2018.

[22]     Similarly, in correspondence with the Research Directorate, a representative at Nouveaux droits de l’homme Cameroon, NDH Cameroon, an Yaounde-based NGO indicated in the document she prepared on the situation of Anglophones in Cameroon that armed forces in Bamenda <inaudible> fire live ammunitions, sometimes occupy houses at night for searches, carry out arbitrary arrest and use excessive force in all circumstances against individuals and Anglophone residents are caught in the crossfire of separatists and government forces”, NDH Cameroon, August 2018.

[23]     According to sources, people have fled the violence in Anglophone regions <inaudible> Cameroon May 29th, 2018, Caritas May 15th, 2018.

[24]     The UN reports that, “Anglophone Cameroonians began fleeing violence in October 2017 and continue to pour into Nigeria’s Cross River, Taraba, Enugu, Akwa, Ibom states and total over 20000 refugees have been arrested in the area, UN March 20th, 2018.

[25]     Amnesty International similarly reports that as a result of the security operations conducted in Cameroon’s Anglophone regions and the consequent violence, more than 20000 people fled to Nigeria and over 15000 people became internally displaced, Amnesty International June 12th,2018, page 6.

[26]     Similarly, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs OCHA reports that at least 160,000 people have been internally displaced in Cameroon’s Anglophone region, UN, 29th May, 2018.

[27]     In an emergency response for these regions, OCHA further explained that clashes between non­State armed groups and defence and security forces have displaced the civilian population into the surrounding forest and villages and that 80% of the displaced population have found refuge in the forest, UN, May 2018, page 3.

[28]     I find that the information contained in this RIR as well as other information from the National Documentation Package indicates that there is a serious possibility that Anglophones even ones that are not politically active, accordingly I find that as an Anglophone Cameroonian you face a serious possibility of persecution based on this ethnicity.

[29]     As the State is the agent of persecution against Anglophone Cameroonians, I find that here is no State protection available to you. For the same reason I find that, there is no internal flight alternative available to you.

[30]     Having considered all the evidence, I find that you are a Convention refugee for the above noted reason.

[31]     I am going to return your original documents. Thank you for your testimony today.

[32]     CLAIMANT: Thank you madam member.

[33]     MEMBER: That’s it.

[34]     This hearing is now concluded.

[35]     CLAIMANT: Are we off the record?

[36]     MEMBER: No, I don’t have discussions off the record. So if you would like to say something, go ahead?

[37]     CLAIMANT: Okay, So he did mean, additional, it is not why I mean it..

[38]     MEMBER: It’s fine. Everything is done. So it doesn’t matter. Thank you.

———- REASONS CONCLUDED ———-