Wednesday 28 September 2016

Afghani (34) who claimed he was abducted by the Taliban in his home country to work for them wins High Court action

Saurya Cherfi

Published 21/03/2016 | 14:12

Photo: Getty Images/Ingram Publishing
Photo: Getty Images/Ingram Publishing

A 34-year-old Afghani, who claimed he was abducted by the Taliban in his home country to work for them, has won a High Court action against a decision of the Refugee Appeals Tribunal denying him asylum.

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Ms Justice Mary Faherty quashed the decision and transferred the case to the Tribunal for a new hearing.

Judge Faherty said the applicant, who cannot be named for legal reasons, claimed to be a Pashtun tailor from a northern province in Afghanistan and had been forcibly recruited by the Taliban in 2000.

As he spoke several languages he had worked as a translator for a Taliban commander, and one of his tasks had been to ascertain, according to the language they spoke, whether Taliban prisoners were Shia or Sunni Muslims. 

The applicant claimed that during the year he worked with the Taliban, the commander had been responsible for the disappearance of over 100 Shia Muslims, who were allegedly tortured or killed.

Judge Faherty said in a reserved judgement that the applicant claimed he had tried to assist Shia Muslims by putting them into a Sunni group but had been found out by the commander.  He had been injured with a knife and threatened with death.

The man had eventually been released but had again been sought out by the Taliban in 2005.  They had come to his house and told him he was to accompany them the next day.  The man had left his home that day and moved to another part of Afghanistan in order to escape the Taliban.

He claimed that while he was away, the Taliban commander was killed and families of the people who disappeared while in the commander’s hands had come to his father’s home and threatened to kill him.

He had later paid an agent more than €10,000 to smuggle him into Europe and arrived in Ireland in February 2008 where he applied for asylum.  The Tribunal had refused his application on grounds of credibility.

Judge Faherty said the Tribunal had rejected the applicant’s claim to have been abducted by the Taliban and had found he had not shown that he would face persecution if he were to return in Afghanistan.

The judge said she was satisfied the Tribunal member had not considered all the information available regarding Afghanistan, as 2013 guidelines stated that people who resist Taliban recruiting are at risk of being killed.

Judge Faherty quashed the decision not to declare the applicant to be a refugee and remitted the case to the Tribunal for a new hearing before a different Tribunal member.

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