All Countries Syria

2019 RLLR 91

Citation: 2019 RLLR 91
Tribunal: Refugee Protection Division
Date of Decision: November 12, 2019
Panel: Stephen Rudin
Counsel for the claimant(s): Katherine M Macdonald
Country: Syria
RPD Number: TB8-01528
Associated RPD Numbers: TB8-01583, TB8-01584
ATIP Number: A-2020-01459
ATIP Pages: 000055-000061


[l]        [XXX], and [XXX], (the claimants) are claiming refugee protection pursuant to section 96 and subsection 97(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA).1

Joined claims

[2]       Pursuant to Rule 55 of the Refugee Protection Division (RPD) Rules, these claims for refugee protection were heard jointly.2 The principal claimant is [XXX]. Each claim was decided on its own merits, and decisions were made for each claimant.

Appointment of a Designated Representative

[3]       The IRPA requires the designation of a representative for all claimants less than 18 years of age. The children in this claim are aged three and seven.

[4]       In accordance with subsection 167(2) of the IRPA,3 and Rule 20 of the RPD Rules,4 on February 5, 2018, the RPD designated [XXX] to be the representative for the minor claimants for the purposes of this claim for refugee protection.


[5]       The complete story alleging the basis of the claimant’s fear is captured in the Basis of Claim Form (BOC),5 and amendment to the principle claimant’s BOC.6 The associate claimants rely on the principle claimant’s BOC.7 Their allegations can be summarized as follows.

[6]       The claimant alleges that she and her children fear returning to Syria. As a Sunni Muslim, and a person who was born and has lived in Saudi Arabia, she fears that if they were to return, they would be detained, tortured, and possibly face death because of her father’s affiliation as a member of the Muslim Brotherhood.

[7]       The claimant alleges that many of her family members have been targeted by the current Syrian regime because they were perceived as being opponents of the govermnent.

[8]       Believing that they could not remain in Saudi Arabia as they had no status, and because they feared returning to Syria, the claimants, accompanied by the principle claimant’s mother-in­ law, former husband and two of her sisters-in-law, left Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on [XXX], 2018, and arrived in New York on the same day. On [XXX] 2018 the claimants flew to Buffalo, and crossing at the Peace Bridge into Canada, made their applications for refugee protection.


[9]       For the reasons that follow, the panel finds that the claimants would face a serious possibility of persecution on a Convention ground, and on a balance of probabilities, would be subjected to a risk to life, or a risk of cruel and unusual treatment or punishment, or a danger of torture upon their return to Syria.

[10]     Therefore, the panel finds that the claimants are a Convention refugees, and have a well­ founded fear of persecution or hmm should they return to Syria.


[11]     For the following reasons, on a balance of probabilities, the panel finds that the principle claimant is a citizen of Syria. She established her citizenship by providing a photo copy of her Passport.8

[12]     For the following reasons, the panel notes that the associate minor claimants are stateless. The minor claimants were born in Saudi Arabia. The principle claimant’s former husband is a Palestinian, who was working in Saudi Arabia on a temporary residence permit. According to their birth certificates, the minor claimants were born in Saudi Arabia.9 Although the habitual residence of the minor claimants was Saudi Arabia, they had no entitlement to permanent status or claim against Palestine. Moreover, the minor claimants hold Palestinian Passports and travel documents, which limited their entry to Syria.10


[13]     In assessing this claim, the panel focused on the credibility of the claimants’ allegations of the risk of persecution or harm they might face upon their return to Syria because of their perceived political opinion.

[14]     The panel is cognizant of the difficulties faced by the claimant in establishing their claims. These include cultural factors, the environment of the hearing room, and the stress inherent in responding to oral questions through an interpreter. The panel has taken these considerations into account in arriving at its determination.

[15]     For the following reasons, on a balance of probabilities, the panel found the principal claimant to be a credible witness, and therefore believed what she alleged in support of their claims. Although her testimony sometimes focused on the current situation in Syria and had to be reminded to address her specific fear as it related to a nexus to the IRPA, she testified in a straight forward manner and there were no relevant inconsistencies in her testimony, or contradictions between her testimony and the other evidence before the panel.

[16]     The claimant testified that her father and brother were believed to be members of the Muslim Brotherhood, and as early as 1980 fled Syria to live in Saudi Arabia, where he claimant was born. She further testified that her brother was wanted by the Syrian authorities because of the possible family link to the Muslim Brotherhood, and his avoidance of compulsory military service. Further, when the claimant entered Syria for her wedding celebration in 2011, the claimant testified that she was suspected at the border of being involved with the Muslim Brotherhood, and believed that she was fortunate not to have been arrested.

[17]     For the following reasons, on a balance of probabilities, the objective evidence indicates that there is more than a mere possibility that the claimants would face persecution or harm if they were to return to Syria.

[18]    The United States Department of State 2018 report notes that:

[t]here continued to be a significant number of reports of abuse of children by the Syrian government… [There are] regular reports of detention and torture of children younger than age 13, in some cases as young as 11, in government detention facilities.11

[19]    The International Religious Freedom Report indicates that:

… [m]embership in the Muslim Brotherhood or “Salafist” organizations is illegal in Syria and punishable to different degrees, including by imprisonment or death.


The personal status law on divorce for Muslims is based on an interpretation of sharia implemented by government-appointed religious judges. In interreligious personal status cases, sharia takes precedence. A divorced woman is not entitled to alimony in some cases; a woman may also forego her right to alimony to persuade her husband to agree to the divorce. Additionally, under the law, a divorced mother loses the right to guardianship and physical custody of her sons when they reach the age of 13 and of her daughters at age 15, when guardianship transfers to the paternal side of the family.


An individual’s birth certificate records his or her religious affiliation. Documents presented when marrying or traveling for a religious pilgrimage also list the religious affiliation of the applicant.12

[20]     The same document noted that, “[t]here were continued media reports the government and its Shia Muslim militia allies [consisting mostly of foreigners] killed, arrested, and physically abused members of opposition groups which were predominantly Surmi Muslim.”13

[21]     The panel has chosen to rely on the documentary evidence of the Syria National Documentation Packages (NDP), because it originates from a variety of reputable independent sources, which, reasonably, is expected to be knowledgeable with respect to the situation in Syria. The documentary evidence is seen as reliable, probative, detailed information, so as to provide the panel with a thorough understanding of the political situation in Syria.

[22]     On the basis of the totality of the evidence and the cumulative findings noted above, in the specific instances of this case, the panel finds that the claimants have satisfied their burden of establishing more than a mere possibility that they would face persecution should they return to Syria. Based on the forgoing reasons, the panel finds that because of the principle claimant’s perceived relationship to the Muslim Brotherhood, there is more than a mere possibility that the claimant would face persecution or harm should she return to Syria.

[23]     In regard to the minor claimants, for the following reasons the panel finds that their claims for refugee protection should be accepted. They have never lived in Syria, and with their immediate family now in Canada, there is no one in Syria to care for them. Further, in a decision of the Honourable A.W.J. Sullivan of the Ontario Court of Justice, the principle claiman) has been granted joint custody of the minor claimants.14 In making this finding, the panel is guided by the principle expressed in Baker, that although not determinative, the best interests of the child is an important factor in humanitarian and compassionate considerations that must be given substantial weight.15


[24]     Therefore, based on the foregoing reasons, the panel finds that the claimants are Convention refugees, and their claims are accepted.

(signed)           Stephen Rudin

November 12, 2019

1 The Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, S.C. 2001, c.27, as amended, sections 96 and 97(1).
2 Refugee Protection Division (RFD) Rules SOR/2012-256 [RPO Rules], Rule 55.
3 IRPA, supra, footnote 1, section 167(2).
4 RPD Rules, supra, footnote 1, Rule 20.
5 Exhibits 2-4, Basis of Claim Forms (BOCs).
6 Exhibit 10. Amended BOC.
7 Exhibit 2, BOC – TBS-01528.
8 Exhibit 1, Package of Information ftom the Referring CBSA/CIC, Copy of Passport.
9 Exhibit 9, Personal Disclosure, at pp. 19-20 and 23-24.
10 Exhibit 8, Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) Materials, Copies of Palestinian Passports.
11 Exhibit 5, National Documentation Package (NDP) for Syria (March 29, 2019), item 2.1.
12 Ibid., item 12.1.
13 Ibid.
14 Exhibit 9, Personal Disclosure, at pp. 38-41.
15 Baker v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration), [1999] 2 S.C.R. 817.

Afghanistan All Countries

2019 RLLR 89

Citation: 2019 RLLR 89
Tribunal: Refugee Protection Division
Date of Decision: March 8, 2019
Panel: L. Colle
Counsel for the claimant(s): Ali Yusuf
Country: Afghanistan
RPD Number: TB7-25153
Associated RPD Numbers: TB7-25154, TB7-25155, TB7-25156, TB7-25157
ATIP Number: A-2020-01459
ATIP Pages: 000043-000047


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

[2]       The claimant is Ms [XXX]. Claims to be a citizen of Afghanistan and is claiming refugee protection pursuant to subsections 96 and 97(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

[3]       She is joined by four minor claimants her children, all with the last name [XXX] and whose names are [XXX], and you are appointed as the designated representative to the four minor age children whom I saw in the video conference at the last sitting.

[4]       In deciding your claim I’ve also considered the guideline on minor refugee claims. That’s the guideline number three and also on the guideline four on women refugee claimants fearing gender related persecution.

[5]       I find that all five of you are Convention refugees for the following reasons.

[6]       You allege that you fear returning for two reasons to Afghanistan. One for the security situation in Afghanistan, the (inaudible) and the current war with the Taliban and also that you and the minor claimants would be targeted because your husband has been a high ranking official with the Afghan Government.

[7]       Now, I note that the claimant’s husband Mr. [XXX](ph) [XXX], testified at the last sitting on March 6th and testified via phone from Kabul.

[8]       And also, you explained that you … your husband was posted in Afghanistan. Not in Afghanistan but in Brussels, Belgium from [XXX] 2016 or about [XXX] 2017. You went together, a family vacation in Washington State on the Canadian border.

[9]       You had previously discussed with your husband that you wanted to claim asylum in Belgium but he would not release the passports of your children, and that he also disagreed. He did not want you to cross the border ’cause he felt that it would be an illegal crossing and it would be not proper for you and the minor claimants cross the Canadian border to make refugee claims.

[10]     Across … but you did cross in [XXX] 2017 made … and made refugee claims, and you spoke to your husband that day by phone and he was upset. But or … as … as we passed into 2018 and 2019 since then you’ve reconciled with your husband.

[11]     Now, what happened before this reconciliation became apparent the Minister representative did not have information that the panel has now and … today … and first brought up two issues that they wanted to intervene under Articles 1(f)(b)(c). First under the United Nations Convention relating to the status of refugee, and l(f)(c) as well.

[12]     Now, under 1(f)(b) the Minister believed that there were serious reason for concern that the claimant has committed … committed an act of abduction as described in Section 283 of the Criminal Code. Then under 1(f)(c) the Minister believed that there were serious reasons for considering that the claimant had committed acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations. Specifically, the United Nations Convention on the rights of the child and, however, since there was no consent letter from your husband on file.

[13]     Subsequent to that on … the Minister’s representative wrote another letter on March 5th, 2019. That is Mr. Patrick Klauss, K-L-A-U-S-S, a hearings officer with the Canada Border Services Agency, and said the Minister is withdrawing their participation from … from the refugee hearing.

[14]     The Minister did conduct an investigation that did not yield any adverse information. The Minister also contacted background checks via the RCMP, and they did not indicate that the minor children had been reported missing or abducted, and also … Minister’s rep also added a Hague Application has also not been filed with regards to the minor children. Hague is spelling, H-A-G-U-E.

[15]     All right. And it said further, the Minister is of the understanding that the husband has now granted permission for his children to be in Canada.

[16]     Now, the Minister added that the Minister’s aware of the possibility of the l(f)(b) exclusion should … could also be considered by they panel as the claimant’s action could potentially fall within the ambit, A-M-B-I-T, of Section 283 of the Criminal Code of Canada.

[17]     However, the panel has considered Section 283 of the Criminal Code and conducted a teleconference with the claimant’s husband from Kabul on Wednesday March the 6th, and the claimant’s husband gave credible testimony. Also, provided important dates including birthdates, marriage dates for the children and the claimant. His testimony was also very consistent with the claimant’s Basis of Claim Form, and he gave credible and very, very detailed information about the security situation in Afghanistan and in Kabul.

[18]     Now, I’ll go into that again, but I also noted that through counsel we also received a written consent letter Exhibit 13 from the claimant’s husband as well as the verbal consent. So, I find that given the Minister’s new position examining Criminal Code Section 283 the … the claimant does not fall under the exclusions Articles either l(f)(b) or l(f)(c). And so, I have no reasons to believe … there’s no evidence that those article … exclusion Articles are in play in this case.

[19]     Now, your identities, all your identities as nationals of Afghanistan is established by your testimony in Dari and also the supporting documentation including the certified true copies of your Afghan passports in Exhibit 1.

[20]     All right. I found you and your husband as a witness are … to be credible witness and … witnesses and therefore I believe what you have alleged in support of your claims. You both testified in a straightforward manner and there are no relevant inconsistencies in either of your testimony or contradictions between your testimony and the other evidence before me such as country documents, personal documents, or the Basis of Claim Forms.

[21]     Now, the … your husband testified that he was a foreign … in the foreign service and is seeking a new position either in the securities … internal security or the Defense Department in Afghanistan.

[22]     He gave a candid assessment of the security situation in Afghanistan today. At least 40 to 50 percent of the territory of Afghanistan is controlled by the Taliban. The … he explained the difficulties in containing the Taliban including the porous borders and other factors that made it very documents to control this insurgency.

[23]     He also explained as an adult. He’s about 45-years-old. His … he lives with his mother and his mother is afraid for his life and fears … doesn’t want him to go out definitely in the evening time at all, to stay close to home. And your husband also said that … that daily security precautions have to be taken. There’d have to be frequent changes in departures and entrances into the house from different situations. For … for example, if someone … if he were to work again he’d have to change his route daily or almost two times a week, biweekly to be safe.

[24]     So … so, I find that in your particular case given that you are family members of a former diplomat with the Afghan Government, that State protection would not be reasonably forthcoming in this particular case. Given that you and your family members the minor claimants would be high valued targets of the Taliban since you are, since you would be targeted because of your family membership and your … your husband’s relatively high profile.

[25]     I … I also considered Exhibit 7 the latest National Documentation Package for Afghanistan from February 28, 2019 and note the tenuous security situation. The State is willing to provide protection but in many instances is unable to do so.

[26]     Given the targeted attacks on women and children by the Taliban, for … for example, I see that in the Department of State report for Afghanistan in Section 2.1 and other human rights documents in the Index.

[27]     Now, going back briefly credibility, I … I accept your explanation why you didn’t claim in Belgium. You were under your husband’s … well, he had the passports and wouldn’t let you even try to claim there. And … and in July 2017 there was again, you were at … disagreement about what to do with yourself and the children, and you took action to … because of your fear of returning to Afghanistan to make claims in Canada.

[28]     And I must say also Mr. [XXX] gave phenomenally detailed information about the security situation in Afghanistan and he obviously, on a balance of probabilities, was a diplomat, has been involved with the Afghan Government.

[29]     Now, I’ve considered whether a viable internal flight alternative exits for you in Kabul. But on the evidence before me I find that there is a serious possibility of persecution throughout Afghanistan including Kabul if you were to return to Afghanistan.

[30]     Now, I considered the fact your husband is in Kabul, but he basically is semi-hiding, and the security situation has outlined in the National Documentation Package including the Department of State report is very tenuous right now. That’s why I find that there’s more than a mere possibility of persecution should you return to Kabul since you and the children would be obvious and visible targets of … of blood thirsty Taliban forces.

[31]     Therefore, for all those reasons I conclude all five of you are Convention refugees and therefore accept your claims.

[32]     The hearing … okay. Thank you, Mr. Yusuf, and Mr. Noor, here in Toronto. Thank you.

[33]     This hearing is now concluded.

[34]     CLAIMANT: Thank you.

[35]     INTERPRETER: Thank you very much, Mr. Member.

[36]     MEMBER: Okay, bye-bye.


All Countries Libya

2019 RLLR 87

Citation: 2019 RLLR 87
Tribunal: Refugee Protection Division
Date of Decision: January 10, 2019
Panel: K. Pike
Counsel for the claimant(s): Claire Houkaye m
Country: Libya
RPD Number: TB7-18122
Associated RPD Numbers: TB7-18133, TB7-18157, TB7-18158, TB7-18159
ATIP Number: A-2020-01459
ATIP Pages: 000037-000039


[1]       MEMBER: This is the decision in the claims for refugee protection made by [XXX] and [XXX]. The principal File Number is TB7-18122.

[2]       Having carefully considered the evidence in this case, I am in a position to render a decision orally now and that decision is to accept the claim. The reason I come to that conclusion is as follows.

[3]       First of all, your identities are well established. I have copies of everyone’s passports and numerous other identity documents.

[4]       You have sought protection the following reason: When you returned to Libya in 2015 after having finished a period of studies in Canada, you allege that your home in Tripoli was damaged during armed conflict in the city at that time. You were not living there at that time, you were living in your parents’ home another city, Zaltan.

[5]       You went to go check on the damage. You made a report to the persons of responsible for the local security in the area in hopes of one day getting for some compensation for the damage. People came to inspect the home and the damage, and you say that an unintended consequence of this was that they found materials that they perceived to be of pro-Gaddafi in your home. Despite your explanation that these were related to your academic work, you were detained and questioned, treated badly in detention.

[6]       And you remain afraid of returning to Libya as you believe the security forces and militia groups perceive you as aligned with the former regime. You say this belief is supported by the continuing action of the local militia in your neighborhood in Tripoli, and that they chose to take your home you said for their own purposes in 2017.

[7]       You were able to secure visas to return to Canada to study and subsequently claim protection here. So, the reason I accept the claim is because I do find there is sufficient credible evidence to support your allegation.

[8]       Your testimony today was consistent and detailed. You provided documents in support of your claim, which included photos of your home and the damage to your home, letters from family members and neighbors who support your claims, and a record from the local militia group obtained by a family member, and so for all of those reasons I do believe that your home was damaged and you are now a target of the local militia group in Tripoli and that should you return to Libya and try to live in your home in Tripoli, you would face more than a mere possibility of persecution as a result of your perceived political opinion as being seen as pro-Gaddafi and by default against the militia.

[9]       Having found that you face persecution in your home, I had do consider whether there was an internal flight alternative for you. We considered Zaltan as this where your family is from and where you went to after you were released in Tripoli. You claim that you would be at risk there because the militia groups are widespread. You did remain there for a number of months before leaving Libya. There is no information that that militia group has control or reach in that city, and your family continues to live there. So, it is somewhat questionable whether the evidence supports that you would face risk there.

[10]     However, in addition to your fear of return, you also described the situation in general in the city as very poor. The security situation has resulted in your family member and others being unable to leave their homes and living in a situation of fear based on the lack of security in the area.

[11]     You are a family with four young children, and so even if the specific militia group that you fear in Tripoli would not necessarily harm you there, I find it objectively unreasonable for you to relocate to a city where there is such a poor security situation such that people were unable to leave their homes.

[12]     Finally, I note that there is no State protection currently in Libya as there is no functioning central State.

[13]     And so, for all of those reasons, I do find that you are Convention refugees and the claims are accepted. Thank you.

[14]     COUNSEL: Thank you, Board member.


All Countries Democratic Republic of Congo

2019 RLLR 75

Citation: 2019 RLLR 75
Tribunal: Refugee Protection Division
Date of Decision: February 7, 2019
Panel: Melanie Chartier
Country: Democratic Republic of Congo
RPD Number: VB8-00176
ATIP Number: A-2020-01274
ATIP Pages: 000227-000232


[1]       PRESIDING MEMBER: This is the decision of the Refugee Protection Division in the claims of Mr. [XXX] and his wife [XXX]. The file number is VB8-00176 and today’s date is [XXX], 2019.

[2]       You claim to be citizens of the Democratic Republic of Congo and you are both claiming refugee protection pursuant to section 96 and paragraph 97(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

[3]       I find that you are both Convention refugees because of your imputed political opinion. Here are my reasons.

[4]       Your detailed allegations can be found in your respective Basis of Claim forms. Here’s a summary.

[5]       Your problems started in 2002 when one of your sons, who is now living in Canada, was accused of being part of the rebellion of the north. He was arrested and detained many times. You finally were able to help him leave the country and seek refugee protection in Canada.

[6]       That year you had agents going to your house, searching your house and filling your property on a regular basis. Mr. [XXX], you were brought for questioning by the authorities and each time you had to bribe them in order to be released. Mr. [XXX], in 2005 you were accused of being a member of the Bundi dia Kongo movement and you were arrested and detained by the government authorities on many occasions. You were also the victim of intimidation by agents of the military intelligence service of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

[7]       You continued being harassed until 2010 but things were not as bad as in 2005. After the presidential elections of 2011 you felt that things had improved. The police no longer came to your house and there was no harassment.

[8]       You visited your children in Canada in the [XXX] of 2011 and returned to the Democratic Republic of Congo in [XXX] 2011. At the airport in Kinshasa you were set aside and questioned about your visit in Canada. All of the gifts and new clothes you were bringing back were seized by the authorities.

[9]       In [XXX] 2012 a government agent visited you at your house and questioned you about the purpose of your recent trip to Canada.  You were asked to once again present yourself to the military intelligence office the next day, which you did. You were questioned once again and released at the end of the day. You were once again questioned by the same man in [XXX] 2012.

[10]     You arrived in Canada on [XXX], 2012, with a super visa.  At that time, despite the past issues you had with the Congolese authorities you were not planning to claim refugee protection. From 2012 until 2017 you considered claiming refugee protection but you were hoping things would get better in your country.

[11]     On [XXX], 2017 you were informed by Mr. [XXX]’ s sister that a summons was left at your house in Kinshasa.  Another summons was served three days later. In addition, you found out that a national search warrant was issued on July 10, 2017 for Mr. [XXX].

[12]     Even though you love your country where you still have properties and friends, you both finally decided you claim refugee protection the end of 2017.

[13]     I find that your identity as nationals of the Democratic Republic of Congo has been established by your testimony and the documentation filed including your passports at Exhibit 1.

[14]     Both of you testified at the hearing. I find that you were both credible and I therefore believe what you have alleged in support of your claims. You both testified in a direct, straightforward and spontaneous manner and there were no material contradictions or inconsistencies between your testimony and the rest of the evidence before.

[15]     You also did not embellish your evidence even when you had the chance to do so.  For example, when I asked you if you had received another summons since [XXX] of 2017, you testified that you had not. Or, when I asked you if you were involved in any political parties you testified that you had not. Again, I asked you what your political opinion was and you simply stated that you were for the alternates of the president.

[16]     In addition, you provided documents that corroborate your allegations, including a copy of the avis de recherche and the summons, both in Exhibit 3, which state that Mr. [XXX] is wanted for national security reasons.

[17]     Your son, [XXX], also testified at the hearing about why he had to flee the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2002 and claim refugee protection in Canada. I too find him credible. He testified in a direct and straightforward manner and corroborated your evidence. He explained in detail the reason by he had to leave the country and why, even with the election of a new president, he is still afraid of going back to the Democratic Republic of Congo.

[18]     I find that you have both established that you have a well-founded fear of persecution because of your imputed political opinion.

[19]     I find that you have both established, on a balance of probabilities, that you are seen by the authorities of the Democratic Republic of Congo as political opponents because of your son who was accused of being a rebel in 2002 and because the authorities believe that you were or you are a member of the Bundi dia Kongo movement a religious and opposition political party.

[20]     You testified that throughout the years you have been harassed, arrested and interrogated multiple times by the authorities. While things got a bit better after 2010, you testified that you were again arrested and interrogated upon your return from Canada in [XXX] of 2011 at the airport as well as in early [XXX] 2012 and [XXX] of 2012.

[21]     I find that you have established a subjective fear despite having returned to the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2011 and despite the delay in claiming while in Canada.

[22]     First, I note that you had valid legal status in Canada during your entire stay. In addition, you testified that even though you considered claiming refugee protection back in 2011 and 2012 and in the following years, you were hoping to eventually be able to return to Democratic Republic of Congo.

[23]     Most importantly, you testified that you finally decided to claim refugee protection after receiving the summons and the search warrant in [XXX] of 2017. At that point, you were really afraid that your life was in danger.

[24]     I accept your explanations that I find reasonable.

[25]     The country documentation on the Democratic Republic of Congo provides the objective basis for your claims. It clearly indicates that people opposing the regime in power or seen as opposing the regime have been arbitrarily arrested, detained, kidnapped, tortured or even killed. There’s ample evidence that anyone opposing or seen as opposing the regime is a target.

[26]     For example, I’d like to refer to item 2.1 of the National Documentation Package and I read from page 10:

“Throughout the year security forces regularly held protestors and civil society activists incommunicado and without charge for extended periods. For example, on June 15, state  agents arrested opposition Union For Democracy and Social Progress Youth League president David Mukeba in Kisangani for raising concerns about the country’s voter registration. The ANR allegedly held Mukeba incommunicado until August 31, when he was released.

On July 31, the SSF arbitrarily arrested at least 131 civil society activists and civilians following nationwide protests. While most were released within two days, five individuals who attempted to deliver a letter to the local CENI office in Lubumbashi were prosecuted. In August a court convicted four of the activists for disturbing the peace and sentenced them to eight months in prison. In November a court convicted the fifth activist, Timothee Mbuya, of provocation and incitation of disobedience and sentenced him to 12 months in prison.”

[27]     As another example, I’d like to refer to item 2.2 of the National Documentation Package and I read from page 2:

“Authorities continued to ban and repress public dissent and peaceful assemblies organized by civil society organizations and the opposition, especially protests concerning the political crisis and elections. Opposition peaceful protesters were intimidated, harassed and arrested by security forces; government supporters demonstrations took place without interference from the authorities.”

[28]     With respect to the treatment of the Bundi dia Kongo followers, I’d like to refer you to item 4.7 of the National Documentation Package

“ADIAC indicates that BDK followers are on the radar of the Congolese authorities and that they are being sought by the security services, forcing some to live in hiding.   Similarly, the Congolese daily Le Potentiel reports that BDK/BDM followers are mistreated by security services, including arbitrary arrest and torture. The same source states that this is the situation in Kinshasa and in the Congo Central province.”

[29]     I also find that your risk of persecution would be increased if you were to return to Congo as failed asylum seekers, especially given that you have made a claim against the authorities of the Democratic Republic of Congo and I’d like to refer to item 14.3 of the National Documentation Package which states that there is reports to instruct security chiefs to track down and arrest opponents of the government including members of the main opposition party and that they could use torture with discretion upon their return to the Democratic Republic of Congo.

[30]     Finally, I know that even though a new president was elected recently, I have no evidence before me that things have changed for the better in Democratic Republic of Congo. To the contrary, it appears that the election results are now being contested.

[31]     According to the articles found in Exhibit 5 many suspect that Kabila made a deal with the new president Tshisekide. In addition, according to your testimony, many of the people who worked under Kabila remain in place and the article in Exhibit 5 confirms this, stating for example, at page 5 that most of the security establishment remain loyal to Kabila.

[32]     Therefore, should you return to Democratic Republic of Congo I find that there is a serious possibility that you would be persecuted because of your imputed political opinion.

[33]     I find that you have rebutted the presumption of state protection since the agents of harm in this case is the government and the security forces in the Democratic Republic of Congo, it is clear that state protection would not be reasonably forthcoming.

[34]     Finally, I have assessed whether or not there is a viable internal flight alternative available to you in Democratic Republic of Congo.

[35]     Since the state authorities are the agent of persecution and since they control the entire territory, I find that there is no viable internal flight alternative for you anywhere in the country as there would be a serious possibility of persecution throughout the country.

[36]     For the foregoing reasons, I find that you are both Convention refugees and I therefore accept your claims.

[37]     Thank you and end of the decision.


All Countries Syria

2019 RLLR 86

Citation: 2019 RLLR 86
Tribunal: Refugee Protection Division
Date of Decision: March 5, 2019
Panel: D. Young
Counsel for the Claimant(s): Ali Dakakni
Country: Syria
RPD Number: TB7-16920
ATIP Number: A-2020-01459
ATIP Pages: 000032-000036


[1]       This is the decision in the claims of [XXX] (the principal claimant), [XXX] (the principal claimant’s spouse), [XXX] and [XXX], (the minor claimants). The claimants are making claims against Syria, seeking Canada’s protection pursuant to sections 96 and 97(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA).1 The principal claimant was appointed Designated Representative for the minor claimants. A third minor claimant, citizen of the United States, (U.S.), had initially made a claim with the rest of the family but that claim was withdrawn before the hearing.

[2]       The claimants have lived in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) since 2016. They had residence permits based on the principal claimant’s employment. The principal claimant was, according to documents filed, a valued employee of [XXX] in Dubai.2 Prior to that, he had worked for the same company in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The family was planning to re-locate to Canada for the principal claimant to take a job with [XXX] in Toronto. The family’s application to the Canadian government for a visa was refused because “the LMIA/Job Offer which you have provided in support of the application is fraudulent”.3 A subsequent application for a visa was also refused. The principal claimant alleges that because he was leaving his job in UAE, his employer had replaced him and refused to extend his employment. As a result, the claimants would be required to leave UAE. The only country they had a right to live in was their country of nationality, Syria. The family fears targeting due to their perceived opposition to the Assad regime and that the principal claimant would be forced to serve in the Syrian army. They had been issued Non-immigrant visas to the U.S. in 2015 valid until 2017. They travelled to the U.S. on [XXX] 2017. They crossed the Canada­U.S. border ten days later, outside of an authorized port of entry and made refugee claims.

[3]       The panel had concerns about the evidence regarding the claimants’ decision to leave the UAE. At the end of the hearing, counsel was given the opportunity to submit representations in writing. Along with his representations, counsel submitted documents regarding this issue along with documents about the U.S. administration’s statements regarding refugees from Syria and the text of a tweet from the Canadian Prime Minister. As these were relevant to issues raised by the panel in the hearing, the documents were entered into evidence.4


[4]       Certified copies of the claimants’ current Syrian passports were included with the referral.5 These are sufficient to establish the claimants’ identity and nationality.

Credibility and Subjective Fear

[5]       The panel stated in the hearing that credibility and subjective fear were issues in this claim. Specifically, on credibility, the truthfulness of the claimants’ evidence regarding why they had left the country they were living in, where they had ongoing resident status, even though that status was not permanent. Had the status been permanent, the claims would likely have been excluded from consideration in accordance with Article 1E. As it stands, the claimant’s decision to leave a country where they had status becomes a consideration in assessing their subjective fear. Further, the claimants’ decision not to make an asylum claims in the U.S. also gives rise to an issue of whether the claimants lack subjective fear and also affects the assessment of the credibility of their allegations of fear of return to Syria.

[6]       The documents submitted by counsel post-hearing give a detailed explanation of the claimant’s efforts to re-locate to Canada and set out more clearly the sequence of events. The panel finds, on a balance of probabilities, that when the claimants left the UAE, they were likely facing removal from that country.

[7]       Regarding the decision to pass through the U.S. and make a claim in Canada, the evidence is not as convincing. The claimants allege that the current president’s statements regarding a Muslim ban was the reason and that therefore they had no choice but cross over to Canada. The panel notes that the claimants had visas permitting them to enter the U.S. and had been allowed entry to the U.S. during the time of the president’s statements regarding banning Muslims but had been refused visas to travel to Canada. This undermines the claimants’ assertion that they would be more welcome in Canada than the U.S. Counsel in his submissions referred to the Canadian Prime Minister’s tweet.  The statements does re-affirm that Canada accepts refugees fleeing risk of persecution. The statement does not say that persons who are already in safe countries should leave those countries and instead come to Canada. That said, even though the panel does not find that the claimants would be unsafe in the U.S., their belief is not so completely unreasonable that the panel can find that it indicates a lack of subject fear sufficient to undermine their claim.

Objective Basis

[8]       With regard to the objective support for the claimants’ allegations of the risk they face in Syria, this is found in the documentary evidence. Political opinion in Syria is imputed to citizens based on their locality or family connections. The International Protection Considerations with Regard to People Fleeing the Syrian Arab Republic, Update IV prepared by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) states:

A particular and deepening feature of the conflict is that different parties to the conflict frequently impute a political opinion to larger groups of people, including families, tribes, religious or ethnic groups or whole towns, villages or neighbourhoods, by association. As such, members of a larger entity, without individually being singled out, become the targets for repercussions by different actors, including government forces, ISIS, and anti­government armed groups, for reason of real or perceived support to another party to the conflict.6

[9]       Refusal to take part in the actions of the Syrian army, in the current circumstances, is an expression of political opinion under the Convention definition and the actions which likely would be taken against the claimants would come within the definition of persecution.

Internal Flight Alternative and State Protection

[10]     Syria is embroiled in a multi-dimensional, multi-national war which affects the entire country and has led to extreme sectarian violence. I find that the current security situation in the country is such that there is no access to state protection or a viable internal flight alternative for this claimants at the current time.


[11]     Having considered all of the evidence before me, I find the claimants to be Convention refugees and I accept the claims.

(signed)           D. Young

March 5, 2019

1 Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, S.C. 2001, c. 27 as amended.
2 Exhibit 10.
3 Emphasis added.
4 Exhibit 11.
5 Exhibit 1.
6 Exhibit 6, NDP for Syria (28 September 2018), item 1.12.

All Countries Egypt

2019 RLLR 85

Citation: 2019 RLLR 85
Tribunal: Refugee Protection Division
Date of Decision: March 1, 2019
Panel: Maria Vega
Counsel for the Claimant(s): John P. Howorun
Country: Egypt
RPD Number: TB7-16817
ATIP Number: A-2020-01459
ATIP Pages: 000027-000031

[1]       PRESIDING MEMBER: This is the decision in the case of file number TB7-16817. This decision is with respect to the claim of Mr. [XXX]. He claims to be a citizen of Egypt and is claiming refugee protection pursuant to Sections 96 and Section 97.(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

[2]       This decision is being rendered orally today and a written form of these reasons will be sent to your home at your address, sir, and they may also be edited for spelling, syntax, grammar as well as references to the applicable case law and legislation as well as exhibits.

[3]       I find that the claimant is a national of Egypt as is established by his testimony and by the supporting documentation filed; namely, his passport, a certified true copy of which is found in Exhibit 1, as well as his Egyptian identity card which was found in Exhibit 9.

[4]       From this evidence I conclude on a balance of probabilities that the claimant has Egyptian citizenship and that he is who he claims to be.

[5]       Mr. [XXX], I find that you are a Convention refugee for the following reasons.

[6]       In this case the nexus to the Convention definition is your imputed political opinion. You have come to the attention of the security authorities in Egypt, at first through your attaining what you believe to be an authentic building permit to build a barn on your property. Then you proceeded to build this and then when it was demolished and you complained about that you came facing the police and then were taken to the police station.

[7]       You also appear from your evidence to have come to the attention of the police authorities through your involvement in attending anti-government, political demonstrations in November 2016, as well as by posting on your Facebook page what were anti-government opinions as well as the fact that you had attended those demonstrations.

[8]       The allegations are found in your Basis of Claim Form and I will just summarize them, but I won’t provide every detail.

[9]       These demonstrations which you attended in November 2016 were against the government of Mr. El-Sisi giving two Egyptian islands to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and also they were against the rising inflation that was taking place in Egypt.

[10]     With respect to the building permit which you had obtained from what you believe to be a legitimate source, the office that issued the permits, you had paid your 4,000 Egyptian pounds and then you proceeded to build the barn in December of 2016.

[11]     Then shortly afterwards on the 7th of January 2017 the police went to your home with the equipment and commenced demolishing the barn.

[12]     Then when you protested you were subsequently taken the police station. You were there accused of assaulting police officers with weapons which you then denied, and then you were kept in solitary confinement for two months and warned to not speak out against the government again or you would be killed.

[13]     Your family who had gone looking for you at the police station where you were taken had been told by the authorities at that time that you were released the very first day, thus causing them to extreme fear thinking that you had disappeared as others had – as it had happened to others.

[14]     You also understood by the warning that you were given by the police that they were aware of your anti-government opinions and the posts that you had published on Facebook as you had not spoken out against the government in any way until that point except by writing on your Facebook page which was in your account, and by attending the two protests in November of 2016.

[15]     You were released from detention on the [XXX] 2017. Customers who had come to you in the past for painting jobs had ostracized you as did your friends who stopped contacting you.

[16]     And there was the belief that your detention by the police was for the illegal building of the barn, but you told people at your brother’s barbershop that it was not for that, but because you had spoken out against them for what they were doing to you.

[17]     Also upon learning from your cousin whose friend while working at the national security office in Garbaya (ph) you learned that there was a warrant for your arrest.

[18]     You immediately commenced making arrangements to leave the country and to obtain a temporary resident visa to Canada. You then travelled to Canada in [XXX] 2017 and subsequently make a protection claim in August 2017.

[19]     You have a wife and two children in Egypt and they are staying with her parents instead of at your home as you are aware that the police have gone to your home looking for you for about six times and they have even gone to look for you at your home while there’s no one there and this information was obtained by your wife and she informed you that she obtained it from the neighbours who saw them go there.

[20]     And you provided a picture of the broken door that the police caused recently in January and this photograph is Exhibit 10.

[21]     You fear returning to Egypt because you fear that the police will detain you, that you may disappear or you may possibly be killed by the police or you will be given a long sentence for something that you did not do which was you did not assault the police officers and not with weapons either.

[22]     The temporary resident visa that you obtained to Canada was obtained through the help of a person and to whom you paid $10,000 total and that they arranged that you would leave the country without any problems and so you did.

[23]     Regarding your credibility, Mr. [XXX], I found that your response were generally consistent with your Basis of Claim Form. I was concerned about the BOC omission whereby you omitted to mention that you had written your political opinions on Facebook or on social media.

[24]     You provided an explanation that you did not have any copies of these to give, given that you had someone, an expert on computers close your account or you believe they closed it permanently or deactivated it permanently so that there would be no risk to your wife and your sisters and your family in Egypt once you had left the country. Therefore, that is why you did not mention the Facebook account and your political opinions in social media to your counsel and then put that in your Basis of Claim Form.

[25]     I have considered your education level and the hearing evidence and find that this explanation under the circumstances of this case is reasonable and that you have had in this hearing opportunities to embellish your evidence by your testimony, but you did not take those opportunities. Therefore, I’ve concluded that I find you to be a credible witness and some of your response were very spontaneous.

[26]     Your evidence is consistent with the documentary material both in counsel’s package as well as in the National Documentation Package found at Exhibit 3 primarily with respect to the deteriorating human rights situation in Egypt.

[27]     Counsel’s package of Exhibit 5 speaks also about the – sorry, Exhibit 8 speaks about the corruption that has taken over Egypt primarily since the el-Sisi Government and the large bribes that are paid for people to build permit or get building permits where they should not be getting them and how this is a huge problem in Egypt at the present time.

[28]     In your case you believe that it was a legitimate and actual permit that you obtained whereby you continue – you proceeded to build your barn.  Whether it was or not that’s not – we won’t know, but the issue is that you are being charged by the police with something that you claim you did not do which was assaulting the police officers and anything that you have done with respect to protecting what you believe was your right to build that barn and complain to the police officers. They took that to be an example of a political opinion against them.

[29]     The situation in the documentary material clearly indicates that the human rights in Egypt are continuing to deteriorate.

[30]     There’s a report in Amnesty International with respect to 2017 that indicates that to be case. It speaks about the authorities arbitrarily restricting the rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly.

[31]     It speaks there also about a crackdown plot by the government that was to include members of the Muslim Brotherhood as well as anyone that was perceived to be members of armed groups, but reliable human rights sources speak about how many people who were just sympathizers are often caught and unfairly treated in these group crackdowns.

[32]     In some cases detainees in political cases or anyone who has an opposing view to the government are often held in prolonged detention without charge or without trial.

[33]     The documentary material also speaks about unfair trials when these are held and anyone who has a view opposing the current government is held accountable for that view and will be detained.

[34]     Many human rights groups throughout the world believe that the Egyptian authorities have misused many of their powers against their own citizens and that the Egyptian authorities troll through social media to see who has said anything opposing the government and that is whereby you think that they may have read your Facebook posts and they may have.

[35]     I believe that for these reasons, Mr. [XXX], you cannot ask the Government of Egypt for protection because they are the source of persecution to you.

[36]     You also cannot go elsewhere in the country to live safely without hiding because you would face the same possibility or serious grounds of persecution given what is your imputed political opinion and that means that it’s the opinion of the authorities believe you have. It doesn’t really matter whether you actually have it, but the authorities in Egypt believe that you are against the government because of what you have said and maybe because of what you have written.

[37]     So for all of these reasons I find that you, [XXX], are a Convention refugee and I therefore accept your claim.

[38]     This hearing is now concluded. Thanks, Madam Interpreter, for all your assistance. Good day, Counsel.

[39]     COUNSEL: Thank you.

[40]     PRESIDING MEMBER: Good day to you, sir. All the best to everyone and we’re concluding now.


All Countries Burundi

2019 RLLR 84

Citation: 2019 RLLR 84
Tribunal: Refugee Protection Division
Date of Decision: April 25, 2019
Panel: R. Jackson
Counsel for the Claimant(s): Micheal F. Loebach
Country: Burundi
RPD Number: TB7-08140
ATIP Number: A-2020-01459
ATIP Pages: 000023-000026


[1]       [XXX], a citizen of Burundi, is claiming refugee protection pursuant to ss. 96 and 97(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act1 (IRPA).


[2]       The panel issued this decision without a hearing in accordance with paragraph 170(f) of the IRPA and the relevant instructions.


[3]       The panel finds that the claimant is a Convention refugee, as he has established that he faces a serious possibility of persecution on Convention grounds, if he returns to Burundi, by reason of his imputed political opinion and ethnicity.


[4]       The claimant is 21 years old and a Tutsi.

[5]       The claimant’s allegations are contained in his Basis of Claim (BOC) form. In summary, he fears returning to Burundi because he has been targeted in the past by Jmbonerakures and other state actors due to his ethnicity and imputed anti-government political opinion. The authorities and state actors have also persecuted his family members over the years, due to their Tutsi ethnicity and real or imputed political opinions.



[6]       The claimant’s identity as a national of Burundi was established by a copy of his passport.2


[7]       The claimant’s allegations were credible and supported by probative evidence.

[8]       He presented various documents supporting certain aspects of his claim, particularly regarding the treatment his family members’ have received in Burundi.

[9]       The National Documentation Package (NDP) for Burundi shows the political violence in Burundi, government repression and violence against anti-government protesters and political opponents3.

[10]     The objective documentation mentions that protests against the government have involved Hutu and Tutsi; that Tutsi are often targeted4; and that family members of political opponents to the government’s third term of the president are subject to violence from government authorities or supporters due to their imputed political opinion.5 Sexual violence remained pervasive and was often used as a means of torture to obtain information or confessions from detainees. Rape was also committed while police officers or members of the Imbonerakure arrested a victim’s spouse or relative accused of belonging to an opposition party.

[11]     An example that illustrates the situation in Burundi is that on December 11, 2015, police and military personnel summarily executed dozens of persons in Bujumbura Mairie, including in Nyakabiga and Musaga. The bodies of persons who had been executed were also found in the commune of Mukike (Bujumbura Province). The extrajudicial executions that took place in December 2015, on a scale that exceeded those reported since April 2015, were accompanied or followed by torture, rape and arbitrary arrests.6

[12]     There are reports of summary executions by the Imbonerakure, acting either as auxiliaries of the defense and security forces or on their own initiative.7

[13]     There is ample evidence in the NDP indicating that there is a risk to Tutsis in Burundi when they are associated with political opposition, such as residing in an area associated with anti-regime protests or with a high population of Tutsis.

[14]     The objective documentation is consistent with the claimant’s allegations. The panel therefore accepts his allegations and that he has a subjective fear of returning to Burundi.


[15]     There is clear and convincing evidence before the panel that the state is unable or unwilling to protect the claimant, since the state is the agent of persecution. As noted in the objective documentation referred to above, the government has effective control of its territory.


[16]     Based on the evidence before the panel, there is a serious possibility of persecution throughout Burundi.

[17]     As indicated in the evidence above, the state is the agent of persecution and the government has effective control of its territory and would probably eventually find the claimant in another area of Burundi. Remaining in hiding in that country is unreasonable.


[18]     The claimant, [XXX], is a Convention refugee due to his imputed political opinion.

[19]     The panel accepts his claim.

(signed)           R. Jackson

April 25, 2019

1 Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, S.C. 2001, c.27 as amended.
2 Exhibit I – passport.
3 Exhibit 3 – National Documentation Package (NDP) for Burundi (March 29, 2019), items 2.1, 4.7 and 13.1.
4 Ibid., items 2.1 and 13.6.
5 Ibid., items 2.1 and 4.14.
6 Ibid., item 2.10.
7 Ibid.

All Countries Burundi

2019 RLLR 82

Citation: 2019 RLLR 82
Tribunal: Refugee Protection Division
Date of Decision: December 31, 2019
Panel: Elsa Kelly-Rhéaume
Country: Burundi
RPD Number: MB9-07334
Associated RPD Number(s): MB9-07374
ATIP Number: A-2020-01459
ATIP Pages: 000015-000019

[1]       After having heard the evidence and analyzed it, the Board is ready to render its decision with regards to the claims of [XXX] (file number MB9-07334) and his sister [XXX] (file number MB9-07374).

[2]       The claimants allege they are citizens of Burundi and they are seeking refugee protection pursuant to Sections 96 and 97(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

[3]       The claimants allege that they are Hutu. In 2018, they completed their high school diploma in Rwanda. Upon return to Burundi in [XXX] 2018, the claimant, [XXX], alleges that he received a police summons asking him to present himself to the police on December 23rd, 2018. When he presented himself at this state, intelligence agents questioned him about what he had been doing in Rwanda. They took his phone and implied that he was involved with a group of youths spreading propaganda on social media.

[4]       The claimant also alleges that he was kidnapped on January 25th, 2019 where his watch and phone were stolen and he was held without food or water for two days. He alleges that he was beaten and interrogated with regards to the reasons he went to Rwanda and asking him who he was working with to undermine the government in Burundi. In the end, he was released because his father paid millions of francs to his abductors.

[5]       The claimant, [XXX], alleges that she received threatening phone calls from individuals saying that she would be killed and raped because she was gathering information on Burundi in order to help groups in Rwanda.

[6]       The claimants arrived in Canada on [XXX], 2019 and sought asylum on April 10th, 2019.

[7]       The Board finds that the claimants are “Convention refugees” as they have established a serious possibility of persecution should they return to their country of origin based on one of the grounds set out in Section 96 of the IRPA, namely their imputed political opinion for being suspected of working against the government of Burundi.

[8]       With regards to identity, the claimants provided certain identity documents at the request of the Board that contained many errors. During the first hearing, the claimants had difficulty explaining the reasons for these mistakes.

[9]       At the second hearing, the claimant Mrs. [XXX] explained that she had since spoken to her father who told her that he had obtained these documents when the claimants were already in Canada. Her father said that he had gone to different authorities to obtain the required documents, but as he does not read French he did not realize they contained mistakes. He also told her that he obtained a new national identity card for her because he couldn’t find her original one at home.

[10]     Thus, the Board gives no weight to the following identity documents as they contained many mistakes and the claimants have not established that they were obtained legitimately: Exhibits C-1 and C-2 which are the attestations of residence, C-10 and C-12 which are the birth certificates and C-13 which is the national identity card for Mrs. [XXX].

[11]     That being said, the claimants also submitted as evidence of their identity their two authentic passports on which the information is consistent with the claimants’ declarations. The claimants were also able to explain how they had obtained these passports and their explanations were conforming with the documentary evidence.

[12]     They also submitted several laissez-passer which are authentic documents given by Burundi for allowing them to travel and study in Rwanda. These documents do not contain any anomalies and are consistent with the information found in their passports. Consequently, the Board gives these primary identity documents weight and strong probative value with regards to the claimants’ identities.

[13]     While the Board evidently does not condone the fabrication of documents to bolster an asylum claim, it accepts the claimants’ explanation with regards to their father’s undertakings to obtain these documents while the claimants were already in Canada. The claimants are both young and relied on their father to obtain these documents as they thought they were absolutely necessary for their asylum claim.

[14]     In conclusion, the identity of the claimants has been established as nationals of Burundi on a balance of probabilities.

[15]     With regards to credibility, the claimants were both credible witnesses. With regards to the threats and violence suffered in Burundi, the claimant, [XXX], recounted in detail how he was detained and interrogated several times. He also explains his dissatisfaction of the Board why he did not write about his detention in his IMM 5669 form. He submitted that he did not know who had abducted him and because he had not been taken to a legitimate jail, he did not think that he had to write this information in the form. The Board finds that this is a logical explanation as the claimant was not detained lawfully.

[16]     The claimant, [XXX], also testified in detail about the threatening phone calls she received and she added significant details to those already found in her Basis of Claim form which bolster her credibility.

[17]     The claimants also provided documentary evidence that supported their allegations. Exhibits C-3 through C-7 proves that they indeed attended high school in Rwanda and Exhibit C-18 is a copy of the police summons that was issued to the principal claimant. In light of their credibility and the supporting documents provided, the claimants have proven their allegations on a balance of probabilities.

[18]     The Board finds that the claimants have established that they face a future risk of being subjected to arbitrary detention, ill treatment such as physical assault and torture, sexual violence and death if they had to return to Burundi.

[19]     The documentary evidence found in the National Documentation Package at Tabs 1.5, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 10.5 and 13.1 states that authorities in Burundi and Imbonerakure are responsible for serious human rights violations, summary executions, rape, kidnappings and intimidation of people who are perceived to be political opponents. Furthermore, Tab 1.5 states that individuals who have lived in the countries surrounding Burundi such as in Rwanda have been subjected to arbitrary arrests and other human rights violations as they are suspected of collaborating with rebel groups based in Rwanda who are seeking to overthrow the regime in Burundi.

[20]     Not only do the claimants fit that profile as they studied in Rwanda, but they also lived in Kasikibuye (phonetic), a neighbourhood where many young people have been arrested and where mass graves have been found. In light of the attacks and threats received by both claimants in Burundi, the Board finds that they face a serious possibility of persecution were they to return to their country of origin.

[21]     The Board further finds that there is clear and convincing evidence that the State is unable or unwilling to provide them with adequate protection. In the case at hand, the agents of persecution are agents of the State such as the police, intelligence services and the Imbonerakure. As such, the claimants cannot reasonably receive any kind of State protection. The claimants have rebutted the presumption of State protection in this particular case.

[22]     The Board finally analyzed whether the claimants could avail themselves of an internal flight alternative within Burundi. However, because they face persecution from State agents who control the entire country, they could not safely relocate anywhere. State authorities and Imbonerakure have demonstrated that they have the interest and ability to track down any presumed political opponent. Thus, they do not have a viable internal flight alternative.

[23]     Based on this analysis, the Board reiterates that the claimants are “Convention refugees” and their claims are accepted.

All Countries Rwanda

2019 RLLR 80

Citation: 2019 RLLR 80
Tribunal: Refugee Protection Division
Date of Decision: September 26, 2019
Panel: Julie Morin
Country: Rwanda
RPD Number: MB9-02867
ATIP Number: A-2020-01459
ATIP Pages: 000006-000010

[1]       So, I have considered your testimony and the other evidence in the case, and I am ready to render my decision orally today. These are the reasons for the decision in the claim of [XXX], who claims to be a citizen of Rwanda, and is claiming refugee protection pursuant to section 96 and paragraph 97(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.


[2]       You allege the following. You are a political activist. You are against the government of Paul Kagame, who is the current President in Rwanda right now. You’re coming from a family with a history because your father was targeted by the regime. He was part of the same party, but your father opposed the President and he was, you said in your testimony actually, that he was killed by the regime, from what I understood. Yourself, in 2013, you started your social involvement by funding a non-governmental organization called “Help a Child Initiative” which was in 2013, as I mentioned, until 2015. But you explained to me as well that the government asked you… You were able to gather a lot of parents to take care of children, and the government wanted you to promote the referendum and ask the parents to vote “yes” to the referendum. At that time, you refused to do that, and you left the organization.

[3]       You left Rwanda for a few years, two years actually. You worked in Dubai. Then, you came back to Rwanda and then, there, you started to work with, I should say closely, with Diane Rwigara. Supporting her in her… in her… in her campaign, and she was running for President at that time. You said that, even like you were in Dubai, you called her to give her your support. Then, after that, the government just did not allow her to continue to run as President, but you decided with her and with a group of people to continue your political involvement. And, you founded a movement called “[XXX] Movement”. And, the election took place in August 4th,  2017. You…  Diane Rwigara was not a candidate; she was not allowed as I mentioned.

[4]       Then, yourself, you started to have problems. You left Rwanda for the United States in [XXX], 2018, but during that year there was a lot of problems you had. You were arrested twice in August 2017, and in October as well. You were interrogated. You were even accu… You appeared in court and you provided the judgement from the court. You were accused of being… of having influence or wanted to… like an enemy of the nation, being against the government and bringing the youth in your movement. You were…  You had to report to the police every week, then, until December 2017, but that continued after. You received phone calls, and in January threats. You were worried, but finally after a few months you…  you left for the U.S. And, after, even like… When you left, and in October 17, you received a second summons. The government was still after you. You had to report to the authorities for criminal case… for a criminal case. There is no detail, but you, of course, you didn’t go. You were in the U.S.A friend … A co-worker actually sent you the summons, so you were able to provide the original today. So, you’re… The authorities are still looking for you and you’re afraid of going back to Rwanda because of your political activities, your political opinion.


[5]       This is my decision. I find that you are a “Convention refugee” as you have established a serious possibility of persecution on account of your political opinion.



[6]       I find that your identity as a national of Rwanda has been established through your testimony and also the supporting documentation filed, namely your passport from Rwanda. In the passport, there was also your American Visa, and your identity was established through that process as well.


[7]       I find you to be a credible witness and therefore I believe what you have alleged in support of your claim. You testified in a straightforward manner, and I didn’t find contradictions or omissions between your testimony and the other evidence I have. I think that you had   you had a lot to say. For instance, you wanted to speak about your family background. I think you were influenced by your father’s decisions in your activities and the way you… in your thoughts as well. So, for that, I find that you were credible.

[8]       Also, you provided important documentation, the membership card from the [XXX], Diane Rwigara’s movement. You provided this card in P-2. You provided as well in P-3 the decision of the court. You were accused, most precisely, you were accused of crime of discrimination, divisionism among the youth, instigating divisions to hate the country and leaders, as well as genocide ideology, as stated in your case. So, this is a serious accusation in the judgement, but from the evidence I have, you only express your political opinion and you were fighting for your ideas. There’s also P-4, the summons you received from… the second summons you received while you were… while you were in the United States in October 2018. It says, as I mentioned, it refers to “criminal cases”. It doesn’t say precisely what it is, but it says if you will not appear, you will be apprehended by authorities in charge. So, they are ready to arrest you. But you didn’t. So, I took all these exhibits into consideration, and I find that they contribute to your allegations … in supporting your allegations.


[9]       Based on the credibility of your allegations, and the documentary evidence that I have, I find that you have established a future risk that you will be subjected to the following harm: arrest, detention, torture, and death, possibly, death. The torture… You were submitted to torture before, and also, you also mentioned that you have… there are people who are involved in your movement who have simply disappeared. The fact that you face this risk is corroborated by the following documents, and this is the last version of the NDP. So, there are a lot of documents about how the authorities are treating opposition in Rwanda. So, for instance, on the Rwandan authorities suppressing dissent through violence and intimidation, and on individuals who are subjected to arbitrary arrest and physical abuse in custody, this is in tab 2.3. On the fact that political parties are unable to function normally in Rwanda because of arrest and harassment of their members, this is in tab 2.4. There is only one opposition party registered in Rwanda. The other parties, they cannot be… they are not allowed, and this is in tab 2.4. On the repression of any dissident voice qualified as being enemy of the nation, this is in tab 2.7. And, on opposition parties and media reduced to silence, this is in tab 2.7. Now, we spoke about the father of Diane Rwigara, Assinapol Rwigara, who died in 2015, officially it’s from an automobile accident, but the family suspects that… the family believe that it was orchestrated, and this is in tab 4.12 and also in tab 9.1.


[10]     This harm clearly amounts to persecution.


[11]     I find that there is clear and convincing evidence before me that the State is unable or unwilling to provide you with adequate protection. In fact, the State is the agent of persecution, and the State is looking for you. You provided this… this evidence, the second summons, that they want to arrest you. So, I don’t think that it would be reasonable for me to tell you “well, you go and ask for protection from the State”. You would be at risk I believe. There are a lot of arrests of members of the opposition, leaders, activists and journalists right now in Rwanda, and this is in tab 4.1. This is a Human Rights Watch report that details this information. There are also disappearances. People, they disappear simply or they are like you are… you were, actually. They are… They have… They are charged with criminal cases. So, that is not State protection. In fact, the State wants to punish these people.


[12]     I have considered whether you would be able to go to another region of Rwanda and on the evidence before me, I find that there is serious possibility of persecution throughout Rwanda. There is, in a report in tab 2.7, which explains that though in Rwanda there is some economic success, and it appears to be a great country. But in fact, there is a repression and it is an authoritarian State now in Rwanda. People have a fear of expressing their ideas. There is, again, disappearances of people or opposition members, assassinations. So, this is all in this report, as I mentioned.


[13]     Based on the analysis above, I conclude that you are a “Convention refugee” and therefore I accept your claim.

All Countries Libya

2019 RLLR 79

Citation: 2019 RLLR 79
Tribunal: Refugee Protection Division
Date of Decision: April 9, 2019
Panel: Jeffrey Brian Gullickson
Country: Libya
RPD Number: MB8-19759
RPD Associated Number(s): MB8-19775
ATIP Number: A-2020-01459
ATIP Pages: 00001-00005

[1]       I have considered your testimony and the other evidence in this case, and I am ready to render my decision orally. These are the reasons for the decision in the claims of Mr. [XXX] and Ms. [XXX], who are citizens of Libya and are claiming refugee protection pursuant to section 96 and 97(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. In rendering my reasons, I have considered and applied the person’s… the Chairperson’s guidelines on women refugee claimants fearing gender-related persecutions.


[2]       The claimants are 22 and 19. They are from Tripoli. They are associated with Misrata through their brother. They had come to Canada approximately in 2014 as students, last… leaving the country, for Mr. [XXX], it was in late [XXX] 2015, for Ms. [XXX], it was [XXX] 2016. The two claimants are brother and sister. They do have two siblings who are still leaving in Libya, but most of their family members, or at least their parents, are living in Qatar where the two claimants had lived for several years before the revolution in Libya in 2011. The claimants had visited Libya recently for Mr. [XXX] in [XXX] 2015, for the female claimant, his sister, in [XXX] 2016. They had stayed for approximately two weeks at that time and for period previous to that, when they were visiting but living in Qatar. The brother, [XXX] (phonetic), had fought in armed conflict in one of the militias starting in 2011 and through to 2013. He was fighting Gaddafi forces, pro-Gaddafi forces, during that period, and he had been targeted by rival militias. And, he had warned the claimants not to return to Libya. The claimants fear that they would be targeted by rival militias, or other groups, and would be the targets of kidnapping, extortion, or related harm, or some harm just related to being a perceived opponent for political reasons or for being associated with Misrata militia. So, the claimants made their refugee claims eventually in Canada.


[3]       I find that you are “Convention refugees” as you fear persecution by reason of a member of a particular social group or for imputed political opinion, and this is in association with your brother [XXX] activity in the Misrata militia or a similar militia associated with Misrata, and that you would be targeted by rival militias as a possible political opponent.



[4]       I find that your identity as nationals of Libya is established by your passports you’ve deposited as evidence.


[5]       I find that you were generally credible in your testimony. There were some credibility concerns but they are not determinative. There is probative evidence in support of your claim. The evidence that you did submit were primarily the DVD, which was fairly detailed, it’s almost … I think it’s an hour and a half. It’s approximately an hour and a half, that was a documentary on the claimants’ brother [XXX], who fought in the armed conflict in Libya after the revolution or in the period of 2011 and shortly after that, showing that he had taken up arms and fought in that conflict. He is clearly identified in the credits of the film as well and corresponds to the claimants’ Basis of Claim form where they list their family members. Another document is P-2, which is a letter from the claimants’ father, which is basically explaining his limited and temporary status in Qatar as an employee of a [XXX]. It’s unclear whether he would be able to renew his status in Qatar, but one of the allegations by the claimants is that if they were not allowed to stay in Canada, and there was a risk of being forced to Libya, they would have no refuge in Qatar since their own father has only temporary status there. And, the claimants don’t appear to have any permanent status in Qatar.

[6]       The Documentation Package for Libya, dated March 2019, describes the conflict in Libya. That the Gaddafi regime was violently overthrown in 2011 by armed insurgents and NATO, and that’s tab 1.12, sections 5.1.1 to section 5.1.3. And, that’s in the Documentation Package. There is conflict between the ruling groups in Libya. One is in Tobruk and Albida now, in the East, and the other is the… is in the West in Tripoli, which is acting under the UN Accord which had named the government of National Accord as the governing body or the governing structure, and that was in 2015. But that governing structure was not endorsed fully by the parties, and that there are two competing factions in the East and in the West now. And, that is described in tab 1.2, sections the same, 5.1.1 to 5.1.3.

[7]       The NDP mentions that family association is not documented as a factor to probably cause danger for other family members who are not primary target … the primary target of aggression by militias or the government in Libya. But there is conflicting information about that, because there is much information in the Documentation Package that describes security zones and armed militias organizing along family clan and tribal lines. So, that would mean by association people could be targeted for violence, and that information is found in tab 9.4 of the Documentation Package, section 4.11. The National Documentation Package indicates that the rest of the country, and this is outside Tripoli, Tobruk, and… what did I say? Albida, and there are other areas that are being disputed by various factions, armed militias, etc. They would be pro-Gaddafi, anti-Gaddafi, Islamic extremist groups, etc. And, there is not a government body that could offer adequate State protection for those areas in Libya. The Documentation Package indicates that Tripoli’s militia groups Libya Dawn, or it’s an umbrella. The group Libya Dawn was dominated by the Misrata based on (inaudible) in 2014. And, that militia included the Tripoli’s… Tripoli Revolutionaries Brigade, or the TRB, and that’s found in tab 1.12 section 7.6. The NDP mentions in several places the Misrata militia as the local armed forces which include… or included … The Misrata had been fighting other forces, and this would be in the Magarha and Sabha region, in 2016, and this is… so, there are some rival militias fighting against Misrata, that’s 4.15 pages 20 to 21.

[8]       There are other mentions of Misrata fighting other rival militias. In any case, the National Documentation Package… because the two government that are functioning, and because there’s much maneuvering by the various militias to control territory, being associated with one or the other militias would put someone at risk, necessarily being identified as an opponent to the other militias. So, the claimants, I understand in their situation, their relationship with their brother would be by association, associated with Misrata militia and they would face trouble and would be targeted by the militias which are opposing Misrata.


[9]       I find there is clear and convincing evidence that the State, as we understand it, Libya is unable or unwilling to provide adequate protection for the claimants in their particular circumstances, partly because part of the State may actually be against the Misrata militias, for example the government in the East. And the other reason is that, even the government in the West, the National Documentation Package shows (inaudible) I already stated. And, also mentions that the government in the West that’s been sanctioned by the UN to… sanctioned by the UN meaning that they have the approval of the UN, they have delegated their security duties to various militias in the area that are allied with the government in the East… or in the West rather, in Tripoli. So, consequently, the State has not shown their capacity or willingness to protect the claimants, and they would not… the State would not be able to protect the claimants if they were to go in other areas in Libya.


[10]     On the evidence, I find that there is a serious possibility of persecution throughout Libya for the claimants for the same reasons I’ve already stated above, general lack of security, lack of State control of certain territory, and the inability to protect the claimants.


[11]     I conclude that you are “Convention refugees” and I accept your claim. Thank you.