QUEEN'S BENCH DIVISION
THE ADMINISTRATIVE COURT
London WC2A 2LL
B e f o r e :
(Sitting as a Deputy High Court Judge)
|THE QUEEN ON THE APPLICATION OF ZS||Claimant|
|SECRETARY OF STATE FOR HOME DEPARTMENT||Defendant|
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The Claimant appeared in person and was assisted by his Litigation Friend, Mr Fazlula Sapi (the Claimant's uncle)
Mr J Auburn (instructed by Treasury Solicitor) appeared on behalf of the Defendant
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(i) The number of brothers he had. In his witness statement, paragraphs 4 and 36, he stated that he had two brothers (tab D, page 98). At his screening interview on 2 April 2011 he referred to two brothers as Roman Safi and Rual Safi. In his age assessment interview on 13 May 2011 he said he had one brother called Roman (tab C page 36). In his oral evidence he said that he had two brothers, but that Roman was his cousin and not his brother. He accepted in cross-examination that this was the first time he has mentioned this. I reject his explanation that in Afghan culture a cousin is called a brother until he is 18. His cousin Roman, who is now in the United Kingdom, showed no such difficulty in usage at his age assessment interview (see tab D page 49). Neither did Mr Sapi in his evidence.
(ii) How did the Claimant and Roman, his cousin, come to be separated on the journey to England? In his witness statement, at paragraph 36 (tab D page 103) the Claimant said this:
"I became separated from my brother Roman after approximately one month when the agent we were travelling with put us in separate lorries. I do not know where we separated and all I can be sure of is that it happened in the early part of my trip."
In his age assessment interview on 13 May 2011, he said that he had lost Roman in the forest (tab C page 36). In his oral evidence he said that, (a) he had lost Roman in the forest, and, (b) when they were separated by the agents and put in to separate lorries on a road on which cars were passing. The evidence is different.
(iii) In his witness statement, paragraph 36, he said after separating from Roman:
"I have not seen or heard from my brother since."
That witness statement is dated 8 May 2012. In fact he has been living at his uncle's house, that is Mr Sapi in Birmingham, with his cousin Roman since about mid-2011.
(iv) His mother's age. In his witness statement paragraph 4 (tab D page 98), he said:
"My mother is Janet Bibi. I do not know (her age)".
That was in May 2012. I compare that with what he said in his screening interview on 2 April 2011 when he said she is approximately 38 years of age.
(v) His late father's age. In his witness statement, paragraph 4 (tab D page 98), he said:
"My father is Khalid Khan. I do not know (his age)."
That was in May 2012. I compare that with what he said in his screening interview on 2 April 2011 when he says that he is approximately 40 years of age.
(vi) The date when his father died. In his witness statement, paragraph 6 (tab D page 98) he said:
"My father was killed in the Spring of 2010."
In the same witness statement at paragraph 22 (D100) he said:
"My father was killed by the Taliban in February 2010."
(vii) His reasons for coming to the United Kingdom. In his Derbyshire County Council assessment, he told the assessor that:
"He choose to leave Afghanistan to travel to the UK because he had family here and he wanted to study here."
That was on 2 April 2011 (tab C page 2). In his screening interview on same day he gave us his reason for coming to the United Kingdom as "asylum" and he could not return to Afghanistan because:
"His father worked for the Afghan Government. Taliban killed him. Told him to join the Taliban. If not they would kill him."
In his witness statement, paragraph 31 (D102), the Claimant said that the Taliban had told his mother:
"They wanted to take me to carry out a suicide attack against the American forces".
In his oral evidence he said his life was in danger because his father was police in the Government, "They wanted me to be a suicide bomber". All of these accounts are not consistent, one with another.
(viii) In his age assessment interview with the Second Defendant, he said his father was in the army (tab C page 36). Similarly, he said the same thing in his witness statement at paragraph 6(D98). In his oral evidence, he said that his father worked for the police. When the discrepancy was pointed out to him, he said that his father worked in both.
(iv) How does the Claimant know his age? In his age assessment interview with the Second Defendant, he said that.
"His mother had told him when he left home. She said to him, 'you are 15 years old now'".
In his oral evidence he said that he had always known his age.
The First Defendant's witnesses
The Afghan Calendar
"Dear Jonathan Reeve [that was Mr Sufi's former solicitor], this is to confirm that Mr Z's national ID (Taskera) is a legitimate document. His Taskera is issued for him by the Ministry of Interior of Afghanistan and has also been attested by the Ministries of Justice and Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan."