B. M. (Congo) v Asylum Office
CY: Legal aid granted for appeal on negative decision as the case was not , prima facie, thoroughly assessed by the Asylum Service
B. M. (Congo), applied for asylum in Cyprus and the Asylum Service rejected his application by decision of 27 August 2020. The applicant has illegally entered Cyprus by boat via Turkey and during the personal interview stated that he grew up with the family and lived in the capital of Congo, where he attended a school and then studied law and economics at the university but did not pass the examinations so that he could practise as a lawyer because he was forced, as he claims, to leave his country of origin. Before leaving his country of origin, the applicant worked in the Ministry of Research and Science, wrote articles on human rights and took activist action by participating in demonstrations in favour of the protection of human rights and participated in the activities of a human rights defenders group.
He also invoked that as for elaving his country of origin that, while he participated in a peaceful demonstration held in a church in favour of human rights and against the President of Congo, the police entered the church grounds and clashed violently with the demonstrators resulting in the deaths of many of them. A short time later, a close friend of the applicant was also killed by the police. He claimed that the police then held him in a prison where he was mistreated for a few days. The second reason for leaving Congo was that, while attending university, a cousin spread rumors that he was a HIV carrier and because of this he suffered discrimination, bad behaviour and social exclusion which made his life unbearable and caused him a lot of pain to him and his family. The credibility of the applicant’s statements was not disputed but his application was rejected as his claims did not fulfill the requirements for either refugee or additional protection and that the threshold for persecution was not attained for any of his claims.
When considering the legal aid request, the Administrative court of international protection has to examine first the prospects of success of the appeal against a negative decision, on the substance and in the light of facts and circumstances which were not taken into account when the contested decision or act was adopted, whether prior to or after the adoption of the contested decision.'
In the present case, it noted that, based on the personal interview and the report prepared by the case worker, the applicant’s allegations concerning his past mistreatment and detention as a consequence of his human rights activist action, were not thoroughly investigated in conjuction with relevant information from the situation in the country of origin. The Court based its decision and cited extracts from the the EASO Judicial Analysis "Conditions for the Granting of International Protection (Directive 2011/95/EU), and concluded that the applicant’s evidence and statements were not properly assessed and legal aid is granted subject to clearance with regard to financial resources.
Asylum Procedures/Special Procedures; EASO Professional Development Series; Legal Aid; Second Instance determination;
Cyprus, Administrative Court for International Protection [Διοικητικό Δικαστήριο Διεθνούς Προστασίας], B. M. (Congo) v Asylum Office, 187/20, 19 October 2020. Link redirects to the English summary in the EASO Case Law Database.