All Countries Qatar

2019 RLLR 59

Citation: 2019 RLLR 59
Tribunal: Refugee Protection Division
Date of Decision: November 14, 2019
Panel: K. Genjaga
Counsel for the claimant(s): Howard P Eisenberg
Country: Qatar
RPD Number: TB8-07897
ATIP Number: A-2020-01274
ATIP Pages: 000139-000144


[1]       MEMBER: We’re back on the record. All parties are present and the claimant’s brother whose joined us today can you translate that?

[2]       INTERPRETER: Yes I’m going to.

[3]       MEMBER: Okay.

[4]       INTERPRETER: Can you repeat just slowly like (inaudible)

[5]       MEMBER: Sure the claimant’s brother has joined us now for the delivery of the decision.

[6]       Okay so during the break counsel has advised that the claimant understands enough English for the purposes of delivering the decision. So we can excuse you after you finish.

[7]       INTERPRETER: Okay, okay thank you.

[8]       MEMBER: Okay. Okay so thank you Madame Interpreter.

[9]       INTERPRETER: You’re welcome I really apologize for being late but that map quest drove me crazy.

[10]     MEMBER: Okay.

[11]     INTERPRETER: My husband is not here I’m going to sponsor him, he’s in Lebanon to same.

[12]     COUNSEL: Okay perfect thank you.

[13]     MEMBER: Thank you.

[14]     INTERPRETER: It was a pleasure.

[15]     MEMBER: Thank you.

[16]     Okay I have considered your testimony and the other evidence in this case and I’m ready to render my decision orally. I’d like to add that in the event that written are issued a written form of these reasons may be edited for spelling, syntax and grammar and references to applicable case law and documentary evidence may also be included.

[17]     The claimant sorry [XXX] claims to be a stateless Palestinian claiming refugee protection pursuant to sections 96 and 97(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

[18]     In deciding your claim I have considered your testimony and the documentary evidence filed. In addition I have considered the guidelines on women refugee claimants fearing gender related persecution.

[19]     Your allegations are set out in your basis of claim form which is found in Exhibit number 2. The following is a brief summary of your allegations.

[20]     In 1978 you allege that your father and mother moved to Qatar from Lebanon. In 1981 you allege that you were born in Qatar. In your father or under your father’s sponsorship while you were growing up and attending school in Qatar subsequently your father ended up going, retiring his sponsorship was transferred to another company in Qatar and in your brother in Canada here ended up sponsoring your mother and your father to come to Canada.

[21]     They ended up coming here in 2014. You ended up working at [XXX] for the period from 2010t to the period of 2016 upon which you were also let go. During that particular time you ended up transferring back to your father’s sponsorship for a brief period.

[22]     You ended up going to Lebanon in [XXX] of 2017 to renew your Lebanese travel document and during that time you visited your sister in [XXX] in a Lebanese camp. Subsequently due to the violence that was going on in that particular camp and gunfire you ended up cancelling your trip and ended up going back to Qatar. You tried to find other employment and you had difficulty.

[23]     You ended up coming to Canada on [XXX] 2018 and made an inland claim for refugee protection and subsequently to you being here in Canada your residency permit from Qatar was cancelled due to the fact that you had been out of the country or that particular country for more than six months.

[24]     I find that you are a Convention refugee based on the grounds of membership in a particular social group that being of a female fearing gender related persecution in Qatar for the following reasons.

[25]     Your identity as a stateless Palestinian is established by your testimony and the supporting documentation filed namely a Lebanese travel document issued to stateless Palestinians which appears in Exhibit number 1.

[26]     I find you to be a very credible witness and therefore believe what you have alleged in support of your claim. You have testified in straightforward manner and there were no relevant inconsistencies in your testimony or contradictions between your testimony and the other evidence before me.

[27]     You did not exaggerate or embellish your claim. You also have provided extensive personal documents in Exhibit 7, 8, 9 and 10 to support your life in Qatar and also support your family’s connections to Lebanon.

[28]     These documents include your status in Qatar it also includes your university documents from the [XXX] University. It also includes your secondary education certificates, your birth certificate, your [XXX] (ph) document it also includes your driver’s license, letters of support from your family and therefore the panel believes your story in support of your claim.

[29]     There was one concern the panel had which was your failure to claim in the United States or in other countries prior to 2015, however you have provided a reasonable explanation, that during those periods of time you had a job in Qatar and also you had family still in Qatar and your problems only arose after your family had left Qatar and came to Canada. Therefore the panel did not draw a negative inference as to your credibility.

[30]     Now as for the objective documentary evidence which appears in Exhibit 7b, 7c, 8, 10, 11 and 12 they also support the problem that you may have as a single woman living without a male relatives in Qatar.

[31]     The panel finds that you are a stateless Palestinian you spent all of your life in Qatar even though that you have made visits to Lebanon during your formative years and that you do have some connection to Lebanon as your parents and relatives, your parents were born there.

[32]     Some of your siblings were born there, you also have a sibling who’s still there and even though the panel did not find that as a formal country of habitual residence we proceeded, I don’t want to belabor that point but a lot of time was spent regarding establishing your connection to Lebanon. The panel is making this decision squarely on you would have problems going back to your formal habitual residence of Qatar.

[33]     In Qatar you only have a temporary status, you do not have the same rights as Qatari nationals and you’re not allowed to own your own home or work at certain jobs. You do not have access to public healthcare or education, you had to pay for that on your own and you would also face difficulties the panel finds on a balance of probabilities of finding a job in part because you’re Palestinian and you hold a Lebanese travel document.

[34]     The documentary evidence indicates quite clearly in some of the exhibits that a resident, that you can’t be outside of your country of formal habitual residence Qatar longer than six months. Some people, the documentary evidence also indicates that you might be able to obtain permission to enter but you had to have to obtain it prior to departure.

[35]     You can’t necessarily get it now that you are out of the country. There’s a different set of rules that would apply to you and I believe that particular time period has elapsed. According to the fact that your residence permit has now expired and I do agree that the documentary evidence does support that you can’t enter unless an employer hires you from overseas. So and that’s not the case that we have here today.

[36]     So as a result you can’t return there, that’s one condition that I have to find. You left Qatar in [XXX] 2018 and you can no longer return using your previous residency permit and consequently the documentary evidence also indicates that, that you need to obtain a sponsor.

[37]     Foreign workers have to get the employers consent, have to be able to change jobs. The sponsor controls whether the employee, certain aspects of the employees, existence in that particular country and because you would have an uncertain immigration status in Qatar. Those particular sponsorship rules still apply to you but in any event because you are Palestinian your status in Qatar could only be temporary.

[38]     Now the area that I particularly focused on in this decision is the fact of the documentary evidence which appears in 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4 and 2.5 pertaining to gender issues. The fact that you would have no sponsor, no male guardian there, I find that cumulatively amounts to discrimination in your particular case as a Palestinian woman.

[39]     2.1 of Exhibit number 6 indicates there’s human rights problems of for women, there’s the guardianship system in place that requires every woman to have a close male relative as her guardian with legal authority to approve whether she works there, files any kind of legal or goes to the police. It also notes that widespread societal exclusion exists for statist institutions in terms of recognizing single women’s rights.

[40]     In addition you may face discrimination in courts and also discrimination under family law because women are not treated as an equal member in society and many laws discriminate against them in Qatar.

[41]     And normally the documentary evidence is also in 5.1 it talks about that husband nor the closest male relative has to set up or has to be involved in the woman’s daily life. I find that this is persecutory in this particular case it would impose important obstacles for your own autonomy to find your own job and would possibly prevent you from renting on your own and it would also limit the range of full activities that you would be able to do on your own in society.

[42]     Therefore I find that there’s more than a mere possibility of treatment amounting to persecution in Qatar in your case. I also find that because these are the laws of the land that you have rebutted the presumption of state protection in this case.

[43]     I also find that there would be no alternative flight alternative in Qatar because this would be the situation that you would face wherever you go and therefore I conclude that you are a Convention refugee and accept you claim.

[44]     In addition I also find that you cannot return to your formal habitual country of residence in this particular case.

[45]     Thank you and welcome to Canada. Thank you I wish to thank you for coming to tell your story and I wish to thank counsel for your participation and everybody have a good afternoon.