By Sukhram Ramkissoon
A policeman and his fiancé from a small Caribbean island were recently successful in having the Federal Court set aside a negative refugee claim decision by the Immigration and Refugee Board. A new hearing was ordered.
The male applicant was a police officer in one of the small islands and the female applicant is his finance. Both left their country in early 2012 and came to Canada where they sought refugee protection.
Their claim was heard by the Immigration and Refugee Board and rejected in August 2013.
At their hearing the board member found the claimants credible.
On the island, the male applicant was subjected to attacks on his person and his life by unknown assailants but probably gang members involved in the drug trade resentful of the “hot-shot cop”. In one incident, their car was tampered with and the brakes failed, causing the vehicle to go over a cliff, nearly killing both of them.
The only issue before the Immigration and Refugee Board member was that of state protection. The member found that their country afforded adequate state protection to them.
They sought juridical review of the negative decision with respect to state protection. In rendering a positive decision the judge in his assessment stated: “I find that determination to be unreasonable.
“The male applicant, a police officer, made his situation known to police. Some protection was afforded. Then the incident with the tampered brakes to the applicants’ vehicle occurred.
“The female applicant made a fulsome complaint to the police. The police response was that she should “probably leave for a while” to avoid the person or persons who sent e-mail messages such as ‘tell your f—ing man don’t ask me who I am cause (I) am the man who is going to end both of u f—ing. World’.”
The judge stated, “In this case, the police told the policeman and his fiancée to leave the country. Some protection! Quis custodiet ipsos custodies? It means who will guard the guards themselves?
“Clearly state protection is inadequate for the applicants. It is entirely unreasonable to expect them to return to their country.”
The application was allowed and the court ordered the matter be re-determined by a different member mindful of these reasons.
Sukhram Ramkissoon is a member of ICCRC and specializes in immigration matters at 3089 Bathurst St., Suite 219A, Toronto. Phone 416-789-5756.