Thursday, January 8, 2015
Nepalese Police Officer Was Victim of ‘Persecution,’ Ninth Circuit Says, Vacating Asylum Denial
By a MetNews Staff Writer
The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday vacated the Board of Immigration Appeals’ denial of asylum to an anti-Communist police officer who fled from Nepal after being physically attacked and being threatened with harm by Maoists if he did not withdraw from law enforcement and join their party.
The unpublished per curium opinion recited that the board found that although the attack on petitioner Binod Kumar Tiwari stemmed from his political views, that didn’t amount to “persecution.”
An applicant for asylum must not only establish past persecution, but a reasonable fear of future persecution, and otherwise meet the requirements under the Convention Against Torture (“CAT”).
Tiwari is a member of Nepal’s National Democratic Party which has some, though minor, representation in Parliament (while most of the 120 political parties in that nation have none). The United Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) is the third largest party there and adheres to Mao Tse Tung’s adage that “Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.”
The appeals judges said that substantial evidence established past persecution of Tiwari, explaining:
“Tiwari received a series of threatening phone calls from individuals that identified themselves as members of Maoist groups. The callers attempted to extort money from Tiwari, and demanded that Tiwari resign from the police force and the NDP and join the Maoists. The callers threatened Tiwari with bodily harm if he did not comply with their demands, and made at least one barely veiled threat against his life. Tiwari did not comply with the callers’ demands, and he was ultimately accosted and beaten by members of a Maoist group. The cumulative effect of those incidents compels the conclusion that Tiwari suffered past persecution.”
The panel noted:
“Because the evidence compels a finding of past persecution, Tiwari is entitled to a presumption of a well-founded fear of future persecution.”
The matter was remanded to the board for further proceedings.
The case is Tiwari v. Holder, 12-57089.
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