Citation: 2020 RLLR 47
Tribunal: Refugee Protection Division
Date of Decision: March 10, 2020
Panel: M. Dookun
Counsel for the Claimant(s): Amro Hayek
RPD Number: TB9-25948
Associated RPD Numbers: TB9-25981, TB9-26023
ATIP Number: A-2021-00655
ATIP Pages: 000115-000118
 MEMBER: Based on the information that I have in front of me folks, you Sir, are a [XXX] male. You’re a Stateless Palestinian with a Lebanese travel document. Your wife is a [XXX] female. She’s also a Stateless Palestinian with this-, but she has an Egyptian travel document and the minor claimant is a [XXX]-male and he is also a Stateless Palestinian and he also, like you Sir, has a Lebanese travel document. You are all seeking refugee protection pursuant to Sections 96 and 97(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. You Ma’am, served as the designated representative for the minor claimant. I’ll go slower Mr. Interpreter, it looks like you’re having trouble hearing me. I can’t hear you but it looks like you’re having trouble so I’ll go slower.
 Now, the specific details of your claims are set out in your Basis of Claim form, Sir. If I were to simplify what is already in your Basis of Claim form, I would say Sir, that you and the minor claimant fear persecution in Lebanon based on your nationality as Palestinians. You Sir, also fear harm at the hands of Hizballah and I’m going to spell that for the record because this is going to be transcribed. H-I-Z-B-A-L L-A-H, because they threatened you in Lebanon in 2011. You feared that they would harm you and harm the minor child out of revenge in-, in order to hurt you. Your wife fears that she-, number one, she would not be allowed to enter Egypt and if she did, then she would face difficulties in Egypt due to her ethnicity as Palestinian as well as other reasons. So, the Panel determines folks, that you are all Convention refugees pursuant to Section 96 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.
 Now, with regard to your identities, you established all of your identities by way of these certified true copies of your travel documents that I have in Exhibit 1 and you also provided birth certificates for me in Exhibit 5, so I have no concerns with regard to your personal identities.
 Now, with regard to credibility, Ma’am, you-, you didn’t always testify in a straightforward manner. The Panel finds that you did exaggerate your testimony a little bit, especially when, regarding the difficulties in renewing your Egyptian travel document, you described an example of your father getting a number for the que at-, at 3am and that by the time you arrived at 9 am, you weren’t seen because that number had passed. That’s not-, the Panel does not see that as mistreatment per say. If a system is in place where one takes a number and waits for that number to be called and one is not there when the number is called, it’ s not unreasonable that an organization would not take you after that point. It happens even here in Canada at the passport office so, I didn’t-, I-, I felt that you did exaggerate a little bit.
 So, I switched with you and I had your husband testify instead and I find Sir, that you did testify in a very straightforward manner. For example, when you were asked if you had any problems in Lebanon before 2011, you very directly, well, initially, you very directly answered no, you did not have any problems. You did not try to embellish or exaggerate your testimony at that point, which the Panel very much appreciated. Now, e-, even though it seemed later that you changed your testimony to indicate that you did experience problems in Lebanon, the Panel does not draw a negative inference and I’ll tell you why. The first time I asked you, it was suggested that you were being asked whether you had problems with Hizballah before 2011 and you said directly, no. The que-, the second time I asked you, the question was very specific and I said, did you have problems in Lebanon because of your Palestinian nationality. Y-, that’s when you said yes, you did have problems but then you explained that the problems that you experienced as a Palestinian in Lebanon, those problems were so common that you-, you got used to it. You tolerated it, so you didn’t really consider it to be a problem. It was life for you as a Palestinian in Lebanon so I don’t draw a negative inference with regard to the-, the slight change in what might appear to be the slight change in testimony.
 When I asked you whether you-, what the fear was that you had for the minor claimant, you said that you only fear Hizballah and you didn’t mention a fear of persecution by society because of the-, the child’s Palestinian identity. Again, the Panel appreciates that you did not embellish or exaggerate your fear for the minor claimant. So, taking both testimonies into account, the Panel finds that there were no serious contradictions or inconsistencies contained within your testimonies and so the Panel has no serious reason to doubt that your affirmed testimony this afternoon, even though at times exaggerated, for the most part was truthful.
 Now, with regard to the-, the country conditions, I’ll start with Lebanon because that’s the most straightforward for the Panel. The documentary evidence that I have in Exhibit 3 and counsel’s package in Exhibit 5, regarding the situation for Stateless Palestinians in Lebanon. It’ s very clear, it’ s very-, the-, the documentary evidence is very voluminous that Stateless Palestinians face widespread violence, harassment and discrimination that amounts to persecution in Lebanon. Aside from the problems that you’re facing with the Hizballah supporters, even if I don’t take that-, those problems into account, just being a Palestinian in Lebanon is enough Sir, that you and the child would face serious problems. When we combine that with the problems that-, and the threats that you have received from Hizballah supporters, it only increases your risk in Lebanon.
 Now, with regard to Egypt, with counsel-, counsel’s-, with counsel’s guidance, we focused on Exhibit 3, Item 3.4 and that talks about the fact that there are hundreds if not thousands of cases in which Palestinian Palestinians with Egyptian travel documents are denied re-entry for various reasons. Palestinians may face detention at the border in Egypt, imprisonment upon arrival or deportation. So that affirms or confirms the female claimant’s fear that she would not even be able to enter Egypt. Now, if she were able to enter Egypt, this same document goes onto say that Palestinians in Egypt are denied rights to secure residency, employment, property and they are considered foreigners in Egypt no matter how long they have lived there. Egyptian laws do not allow foreigners which Palestinians are considered, to exceed 10% of employees in the labour force, so this limits the employment opportunities for Palestinians and then to add to this, as the female claimant indicated, she’s never been to Egypt. She has no friends, she has no family, she has no support in that country and tho-, therefore she would-, she would be and feel even more out of place than Palestinians who have been residing in Egypt.
 So, to conclude, the Panel finds on a balance of probabilities, based on the documentary evidence that the principal claimant and the minor claimant have a well-founded fear of persecution in Lebanon based on their ethnicities. And the female claimant has a well-founded fear of persecution in Egypt, based on her ethnicity. I should just mention for the record, although it’ s-, it’ s-, it’s implied or it’s well known, I should mention that even though they were born, they were all born in Saudi Arabia, they clearly have no rights to remain or return to Saudi Arabia. So, the Panel finds that the claimants are all Convention refugees pursuant to Section 96 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. The Refugee Protection Division accepts these claims.
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