HCLC wins asylum for gay client from Algeria

Our immigration caseworker, Sonia Lenegan (pictured right) has been successful in winning a number of asylum appeals since she joined Hackney Community Law Centre (HCLC).

One of her recent cases involved Sonia appealing a Home Office decision after it dismissed a HCLC client’s application for asylum. Our client, a gay man from Algeria, was originally told by the Home Office that they didn’t believe he was gay, The Home Office stated that even if he was gay, it was safe for him to be returned to Algeria. This is a common position adopted by the Home Office in most sexuality based claims.

The Home Office also stated that our client’s account was not credible due to there being a delay of several years between him arriving in the UK and making his asylum claim. In HCLC’s experience, many clients are initially simply unaware that they are able to make a claim for asylum for non-political reasons.

Sonia prepared our Algerian client’s appeal against the Home Office’s decision and it went to a hearing in the First Tier Tribunal (FTT). The FTT held that the Home Office had made the wrong decision and also held that our client IS gay and that the delay in his seeking asylum should not be held against him.

Although the current leading country guidance case of OO (Gay Men) Algeria CG [2016] UKUT 00065 (IAC) made it more difficult for gay Algerian men to be granted asylum, in our client’s case we were able to establish that there were circumstances unique to him which meant that a grant of refugee status was appropriate.

Our client can now live in the UK in peace and look forward to a safer future.

Well done, Sonia!