Monday, 14 June 2010

Russian man not a refugee: US court

In parallel with cases here where the courts have been consistent in saying that people will fail on refugee cases alleging persecution due to their sexuality, a US court rejected a claim by a Russian man for refugee status, when the claim was clearly not credible.

In Belykh v Holder, Yevgenih Belykh alleged that he had been persecuted in Russia due to his being gay.  He relied on the Convention Against Torture. His claim was fatally flawed:

  • Belykh's testimony as to the date of his first medical examination for military service was so inconsistent that it undermined the claim that Belykh ever underwent any examinations. When and whether Belykh underwent examinations is crucial to the claim that the first examination created a permanent record of Belykh's homosexuality, causing future discrimination. 
  • In a case of "whoops", Belykh's testified that he was subjected to a month-long, involuntary psychiatric hospitalization but left that out of his asylum application. When asked to explain, he answered, "I forgot about it."

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