Citation: 2021 RLLR 92
Tribunal: Refugee Protection Division
Date of Decision: January 29, 2021
Panel: Deborah Coyne
Counsel for the Claimant(s): Joshua A Blum
Country: Yemen/United States
RPD Number: TC0-07977
Associated RPD Number(s): N/A
ATIP Number: A-2022-01778
ATIP Pages: N/A
 MEMBER: These are the reasons for decision.
 These are the reasons for the decision in the claims of XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX, the principal claimant, XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX the associate claimant, who claim to be citizens of Yemen and are claiming refugee protection pursuant to s. 96 and 97(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.
 These are also the reasons for the claim of the minor claimant, XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX, who is a citizen of the United States of America.
 The principal claimant was designated the representative for the minor child.
 The allegations are fully set out in the Basis of Claim forms. The principal claimant alleges that he and the associate claimants are citizens of Yemen who have lived most of their lives in Saudi Arabia with precarious foreign residency status. They have lost their right to residence in Saudi Arabia and are not at risk of deportation to Yemen. They fear for their lives if they have to return to Yemen because of their imputed political opinion as perceived supporters of the Saudis who are the enemies of the Houthis in Yemen.
 The principal and associated claimants also have Turkish passports and identity cards. They claim, however, that the passports were improbably obtained by the principal claimant’s father through a bribe to a Turkish official. The claimants have never lived in Turkey or used the passports and have no desire to settler there.
 The minor claimant, XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX, did not submit any evidence of make any submission with respect to his country of citizenship in the United States. The Panel finds that the designated representative instructions in this regard were clear, voluntary, and informed.
 So, the decision. It is a split decision. The Panel finds that the principal and the associate claimants are not Turkish citizens because their passports were obtained improperly. The Panel finds that the principal and associate claimants have established that they face a serious possibility of persecution because of their imputed political opinion if they return to Yemen and are Convention refugees pursuant to s. 96 of the IRPA.
 Their claims are accepted.
 The Panel finds that the minor claimant, XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX does not face a serious possibility of persecution or a danger of torture or a risk to his life or cruel or unusual treatment or punishment pursuant to s. 96 and 97(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, should he return to the United States, so his claim is denied.
 The Panel finds, on a balance of probabilities, that the principal claimant and the associate claimant are citizens of Yemen based on the copies of their Yemeni passports in Exhibit 1. The Panel finds that the principal and the associate claimants are not citizens of Turkey based on the documents in Exhibit 7. The Panel finds that the minor child, XXXX, is a citizen of the United States of America based on the copy of his US passport in Exhibit 1.
 Based on the documents in the file and the testimony today, including the principal claimant’s detailed Basis of Claim narrative, the Panel finds there is no serious credibility issues. On a balance of probabilities, the Panel finds that the following allegations are true. The principal claimant was born in Yemen but moved to Saudi Arabia when his father found work there. The associate claimant was also born in Yemen. The principal claimant did his postsecondary study in Yemen and left just before the war broke out between the Saudis and Houthis. He returned to Saudi Arabia to work in the field of XXXX XXXX XXXX and married the associate claimant.
 Saudi Arabia increased restrictions on resident sponsorships for foreigners like the principal and associate claimants, and they began exploring potentially leaving Yemen if they ever lost their right to residence in Saudi Arabia.
 They obtained a US visa to go to the US to study English in 2019. The minor claimant was born in the US in XXXX 2019. They returned to Saudi Arabia, and the principal claimant became concerned of the possibility of losing his Saudi employment due to increasing Saudization of the workforce.
 Around this time, the principal claimant’s father applied for Turkish citizenship for them through an investor program for the principal and associate claimants. They were issued Turkish passports in September 2019, valid until September 2029. The evidence in a legal opinion from a Turkish law firm in Exhibit 7 tab 1, in the father’s letters in Exhibit 6 tab 8 and Exhibit 7 tab 2 indicate that the father obtained passports for his son and daughter-in-law, improperly. He is currently selling the properties that he bought in breach of the minimum three-year investment requirement under the Turkish immigration provisions.
 The claimants decided to flee to Canada, they tried a second time to obtain a Canadian TRV, but again, were refused. They then returned to the US on their US visa and immediately travelled overland to the Canadian border to claim refugee protection in XXXX 2020.
 The Panel accepts the reasonable the claimant’s explanation for failing to claim asylum in the US for the particular circumstances of this claim in which the Panel finds that the claim raises no credibility concerns, and the claimants always intended to claim refugee protection in Canada and transited to Canada shortly after arriving in the US.
 The Panel finds that the principal claimant’s evidence with respect to the fear of return to Yemen was internally consistent and plausible. There were no contradictions or omissions that go to the core of the claim. The Panel accepts the claimants are unable to return to Saudi Arabia and are at risk of deportation to Yemen. The Panel also accepts that the principal and associate claimants do not have any status in Turkey.
 The allegations were supported by personal documents in Exhibit 6 and 7 that the Panel finds credible. For example, Exhibit 6 includes important identity documents and a letter from the principal claimant’s father explaining the Turkish passports. Exhibit 7 includes a termination of employment letter for the principal claimant’s Saudi employer, and a legal opinion regarding the improper acquisition of Turkish passports, and updated information from the father as he terminates his investments in Turkey.
 The Panel accepts the evidence as establishing, on a balance of probabilities, the principal and the associate claimants’ subjective fear of persecution because of their imputed political opinion at the hands of Yemen authorities should they have to return to Yemen.
 So, I now want to return to the objective basis. I will just quickly deal with Saudi Arabia. According to the objective documentary evidence for Saudi Arabia in Exhibit 3.2, the NDP package Saudi Arabia, Saudi Arabia does not grant citizenship to people in claimant’s circumstances and does not offer permanent residence status for foreigners. I am satisfied, on a balance of probabilities, the claimants had only temporary status in Saudi Arabia as long as the claimant was employed or his father included the claimant as part of his sponsorship arrangements.
 Turning to Yemen, the objective documentary evidence indicates that Yemeni citizens, such as the claimants, who have been living in Saudi Arabia, are likely to be regarded with hostility and suspicion by the current governing forces in militias or pro-Houthi armed groups operating in Yemen, and other forces allied with the former Saleh government, and those opposing the Saudi-led coalition forces, which view Saudi Arabia as an opposing power in current conflict. This is especially true in Sana’a, where the claimants are from. Yemen is a site of an ongoing civil armed conflict involving Houthi rebels, primarily from the Northern region and forces loyal to the international recognized government.
 The Panel has reviewed the totality of the documentary evidence in the Yemeni National Documentation Package and finds that those who are perceived as opponents of the current Houthi governing forces, including those perceived as supportive of the former regime and those aligned with Saudi Arabia, are at risk of violence from Houthi militias and other forces allied with the former Saleh government.
 These risks include death, disappearance, detention, and kidnapping for ransom. UN group of experts documented the Houthis detaining anyone ‘engaged in activities perceived as opposed to or not endorsing their war effort.’ I can refer to item 2.1, the US Department of States Report which confirms the hostility, and civilian casualties, and damage to the infrastructure, and the dire humanitarian situation in Yemen. There is lots of information about the ongoing human rights issues in Yemen, beginning and throughout the DOS report.
 If I look at item 2.4, which is the Human Rights Watch World Report on events of 2019. This is a quote ‘Houthi forces, the Yemeni government, the UAE, and different UA,’ just one second, this may not be the part that I want to include, no. I think I will just go back to the refer to the US DOS report, which points to unlawful or arbitrary killings, including political assassinations, forced disappearances, torture, arbitrary arrest, and detention, harsh and life-threatening prison conditions, political prisoners, arbitrary infringements on privacy rights, et cetera, et cetera. There is impunity for security officials, which remains a problem, in part, because the government exercises limited authority, in part, due to the lack of effective mechanisms to investigate and prosecute abuse and corruption. And non-state actors, including the Houthis, of course, commit significant abuses with impunity.
 So, the Panel finds that the totality of the objective documentary evidence supports the conclusion that the claimants fear of returning to Yemen is well-founded and that they face a serious possibility of persecution including disappearance, arbitrary detention, torture, kidnapping for ransom, and death.
 Turning briefly to state protection. The Panel finds that it would be unreasonable for the claimants to seek the protection of the state in the current circumstances. The central state of Yemen has either collapsed or lost control of large segments or territory, disregard for the rule of law is widespread, and impunity is pervasive throughout the country.
 The internationally recognized government has been unable to secure the whole of the territory. Houthi rebels are reported to control most of the security apparatus and state institutions, and therefore, the Panel finds the claimants have rebutted the presumption of state protection with clear and convincing evidence.
 In turning to the internal flight alternative, the Panel also finds that the harm feared by the claimants are not restricted to any particular area of the country. The conflict exists throughout the country and the militias and Houthis and other armed groups are present throughout the country. Therefore, the claimants face a serious possibility of persecution throughout Yemen, and there is no viable internal flight alternative.
 So, in conclusion, the Panel finds that the principal and associate claimants are not Turkish citizens, because their passports were obtained improperly. The Panel finds that the principal and the associate claimants have established that they face a serious possibility of persecution because of their imputed political opinion if they return to Yemen, and they are, therefore, Convention refugees pursuant to s.96 of IRPA. Their claims are accepted.
 The Panel finds that minor claimant, XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX, does not face a serious possibility of persecution or danger of torture or risk to his life or cruel or unusual treatment or punishment pursuant to s. 96 and 97(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act should he return to the United States, so his claim is denied.
 So, thank you very much.
 Okay, so thanks a lot and good luck.
——————–REASONS CONCLUDED ——————–