Citation: 2021 RLLR 4
Tribunal: Refugee Protection Division
Date of Decision: May 5, 2021
Panel: Meredith Rose
Counsel for the Claimant(s): Johnson Babalola
RPD Number: TB9-15167
Associated RPD Number(s): N/A
ATIP Number: A-2022-00210
ATIP Pages: 000133-000135
 MEMBER: All right. So, this is the decision for XXXX XXXX XXXX. The file number is TB9-15167. Now, I have considered your testimony, and the other evidence in the case, and I am ready to render my decision orally.
 Now, you are claiming to be a citizen of Zimbabwe, and claiming refugee protection pursuant to s. 96 and 97 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, and today, I do find that you are a Convention refugee for the following reasons.
 Now, the full allegations in your claim are set out in the Basis of Claim form, as well as the amendments. To summarize those, you allege a fear of persecution as a result of, first of all, your perceived political opinions as a member of the opposition, and, you know, those are your actual political opinions as well, as you have now joined the MDC, and, in your testimony, you have also alleged that you have supported the MDC. You allege that there is no state protection for you, or any internal flight alternative.
 Now, your personal identity as a citizen of Zimbabwe has been established by the testimony, as well as the supporting documents, primarily, the certified copy of your passport, found in Exhibit 1. So, I do find on a balance of probabilities that identity and country of reference have been established.
 Now, your testimony today was generally credible. There were no significant inconsistencies or discrepancies in your testimony today, and your testimony about the MDC is consistent with the documentary evidence. You testified in some detail about the history, and the current status of the MDC, you spoke quite knowledgably about the current government, and you also testified about your activities here in Canada, and you were able to elaborate on the information in your Basis of Claim form. While you have previously maintained a very low profile in terms of your political activities, I do accept your testimony about what you knew to be the risks about being a vocal supporter of the political opposition, and so, that did limit your participation when you were in Zimbabwe. So, I do accept that you were genuinely a supporter of the MDC, and your family also has links to the MDC, as your uncle was quite high-profile within the party. I also have a sample of your activities on social media, and that includes the post on Twitter that was commented on by the leader of the MDC party, Nelson Chamisa. This does demonstrate an ongoing engagement on social media, where you are clearly expressing your opposition to the regime in Zimbabwe.
 In addition, there is also supporting documents, which include your MDC membership card and support letter from the MDC here in Canada, as well as a medical report, and affidavits, which are consistent with, and corroborate, your allegations in your Basis of Claim form. So, I did find your testimony was very straightforward, and you did not elaborate, or try to embellish your claim in any way. So, I accept what you have alleged in your testimony, and in your Basis of Claim form, and I find you have a subjective fear of return to Zimbabwe.
 I do find that there is a link between what you fear and one of the five Convention grounds, specifically, your political opinions, and so this claim has been assessed under s. 96.
 Now, looking at the country condition documents, the information in there indicates that the ZANU-PF government does continue to crack clown on dissenting voices. Authorities routinely suppress the right to freedom of association and peaceful assembly using lethal and excessive force to disperse peaceful demonstrations. Civil society space is continuing to shrink as a consequence. State security agents continue to use excessive force in dispersing protests and assemblies, opening fire on protesters. So, the information in the NDP also corroborates your allegations about what occurred to you in XXXX of 2019, so, during nation-wide protests in XXXX XXXX XXXX of 2019, following the announcement of the fuel price increase, security forces responded with lethal force, killing at least 17 people, shooting and injuring 81 people, and arresting over 1,000 suspected protesters during door-to-door raids. Following the protests, security forces rounded up and detained hundreds of people, many of whom brought before courts on charges of public violence and criminal nuisance.
 With respect to your social media activities, the information in the NDP also confirms that the government is intolerant of critical online commentary and activism, often invoking vaguely written laws to arrest users. Numerous individuals were arrested for their activities online, and self-censorship remains common among Zimbabweans. The arrest of human rights defenders and opposition figures over their online activism, as well as the government’s threatening statements about posting critical content, increased fear, and inhibited expression, according to local observers. So, the documentary evidence therefore does clearly establish in Zimbabwe, political opponents face serious, sustained, and systemic human rights abuses, as well as threats to free political expression, that cumulatively amount to persecution. So, I do find that you have established a well-founded prospective risk of being subject to a serious risk of persecution if you return to Zimbabwe.
 Looking at the issue of state protection, or internal flight alternative, as the agent of persecution in your particular case is essentially the state, or the supporters of the ruling regime, I do not find that state protection would be reasonably available to you, and, as the government of Zimbabwe does remain in control of its territory, there is nowhere else in Zimbabwe you could safely reside. So, there is no internal flight alternative available for you.
 So, based on all of this evidence, I do find you to be a Convention refugee, and your claim is therefore accepted.
 Thank you.
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