MG (Desertion- Punishment) Angola CG  UKIAT 07360
Date of hearing: 19 December 2003
Date Determination notified: 21 March 2003
|Secretary of State for the Home Department||RESPONDENT|
"The appellant claims he fears persecution by the state insofar as he has been targeted for conscription in war time against an internal enemy that he is sympathetic to ideologically and has relatives involved in that part of the country. Insofar as the state is engaged in that war and has the right therefore to call available citizens to its defence that in itself would not normally amount to a fear of persecution. I do accept however that he has been targeted for that conscription for political activities due to his earlier political position and indications that he was not willing to be a servant of the state. The position of the appellant as a deserter is potentially dire having regard to the nature of detention and the fact that civil liberties are not respected in any systematic manner in the state."
"Although the Appellant did not claim any direct torture or violence or threats of violence against him he indicated that he only been arrested (sic) he was able to shortly afterwards escape during an attack by Unita and he escaped in the confusion. I broadly accept his evidence as credible and falling in line with the background information supplied. It therefore forms the factual basis of my decision."
"We do not doubt that prison conditions in Iran are far from ideal. We do not doubt that they may not measure up to what is expected in this country, or perhaps in any country which is a signatory to the European Convention on Human Rights. As the Court at Strasbourg has recognised, it is not for signatories to the Convention to impose the standards of the Convention on all the world. Recognition has to be had to the situation in individual countries and to the standards that are accepted, and expected, in those countries. Of course in relation to Article 3, there is a line below which the treatment cannot sink, if we may put it that way. That is to say that it is always possible that the sort of treatment that may be routinely expected in prison in a particular country falls so far below the standards that would be expected in a civilised country, that it could properly be said to amount to inhuman or degrading treatment. But, as again the Court in Strasbourg has indicated, the threshold has to be a high one because, otherwise, it would be, as one recognises, quite impossible for any country to return to a non-signatory an individual who faces prosecution, rather than any sort of persecution. The conditions may well be regarded as harsh. That is a value judgment and there is no sufficient indication from the material before us that this respondent would run the risk of facing treatment which amounted to a breach of article 3."
D B Casson
Acting Vice President