MK (AB & DM confirmed) Democratic Republic of Congo CG  UKAIT 00001
Date of hearing: 29 November 2005
Date Determination notified: 24 January 2006
|Secretary of State for the Home Department||RESPONDENT|
The June 2005 HJT report concerning suspension by the Netherlands of the return of asylum seekers to DRC does not afford a sufficient basis for modifying the conclusions on failed asylum seekers reached in AB & DM.
'I note the discrepancy between the evidence from the British Ambassador and the human rights activist. The letter from the British Ambassador post dates the information from the human rights worker. There is however evidence that this practice of detention assault and extortion of deportees continues as at 27 June 2005 if a person is unmasked as an asylum seeker (B60).
Given the findings I have made and guidance case law which I believe is out of date and does not take account of the Dutch information I accept its is reasonably likely the appellant will be subjected to inhuman or degrading treatment if returned to DRC given paragraph 34 and 35 above.'
'Netherlands suspends returns of asylum seekers to DRC following reported leaks of official documents
HJT Research News Reporting Service
27 June 2005
Dutch immigration minister Rita Verdonk announced a temporary halt of returns of failed asylum seekers to the Democratic Republic of Congo after official documents were reported to have been leaked to Congolese officials, BBC news reported on June 24th.
According to BBC News, the announcement came at a special sitting of the Netherlands parliament following a report by the Dutch Netwerk current affairs programme last week. Congolese officials, BBC News reported, were said to have obtained confidential documents on several deported asylum seekers. The deportees were then "abused" by Congolese officials, BBC News said.
An independent enquiry would be set up to investigate how the files were leaked, BBC News reported.
BBC News added that Dutch media reports said human rights organisations had warned that deportees faced the "serious risk of imprisonment, extortion and assault if unmasked as asylum seekers".
Expatica News (a news and information website for expats in Europe) reported on June 22 that minister Rita Verdonk had been called on to resign following the revelations. Expatica said that the Netwerk current affairs programme had reported that Congolese authorities had obtained official documents relating to Dutch asylum applications in at least three cases.
According to Expatica, anonymous sources within the Congolese immigration service (DGM) and the country's security service (ANR) had told Netwerk that returnee asylum seekers "risk being held for detention for days, assaulted and receive a fine". Expatica reported that it was also alleged by some former asylum seekers that the Congolese authorities had been fully aware of the statements they had made in their asylum applications in the Netherlands.
BBC News reported that minister Verdonk had previously reassured the Dutch parliament on several occasions that failed asylum seekers' files were kept secret.'
'(a) relates to the country guidance issue in question; and
(b) depends upon the same or similar evidence'.
'18.4 Because of the principle that like cases should be treated in like manner, failure to follow a clear, apparently applicable county guidance case or to show why it does not apply to the case in question, is likely to be regarded as ground for review or appeal on a point of law.'
The Immigration Judge materially erred in law.
The decision we substitute for his is to dismiss the appeal on human rights grounds.
Dr H H Storey
Senior Immigration Judge
1. The Tribunal is satisfied that, at the time the Appellant made the section 103A application and for the reasons indicated in the SIJ's order for reconsideration, there was a significant prospect that the appeal would be allowed upon reconsideration. Accordingly it orders that the Appellant's costs in respect of the application for reconsideration and in respect of the reconsideration are to be paid out of the relevant fund, as defined in Rule 33 of the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal (Procedure) Rules 2005
Dr H H Storey