Visit our new British Pakistani Christians website

Visit our new British Pakistani Christians website
This site will no longer publish new material. Please join our new website

Friday, 30 September 2011

Asylum Seeker rejected on spurious grounds - Part 1 Case specifics and self-contradictory reasonings

Pakistani rangers shot dead innocent and unarmed Sarfaraz Shah shocking the world.  UK Border Agency believe Pakistani Christians would be protected by this elite force?

Police brutality such as this image is of no consequence if we are to believe the UK Border Agency!

BPCA recently received news about a Pakistani Christian who had his asylum application rejected by the UK Border Agency. Sources sent us the letter of rejection, and while we cannot comment on the details of the case or all the reasons why the application was rejected, some aspects of the rejection raise serious concerns that the Border Agency has a severely rose-tinted view of the situation for Christians in Pakistan.

Asylum applications are judged on whether there are substantial grounds shown for believing that the person making the application will face real risk of serious harm and is unable or unwilling to ‘avail himself of the protection of that country’. In this case the applicant claimed asylum on the grounds that he faced a real risk of the death penalty or execution and unlawful killing and torture of inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment in Pakistan. In this case, although he has been in the UK for some years, family members in Pakistan were attacked by militants looking for him.

The BA first of all rejected his claim to have worked for Christian organisations while in Pakistan. It then used this rejection as a basis for rejecting his story about threats while working for those organisations. Additional grounds for rejecting his story was that he did not go to the police when he was threatened, and that he didn’t for self-protection stop working for the organisations that they asserted in the paragraph before that he did not in fact work for as he claimed. Talk about having your cake and eating it. Either he worked for them or he did not! Going back to the actual facts of the case, the asylum seeker has submitted evidence to the BPCA of his employment and the documents seem genuine.

But the other concern is this. Imagine if such a line was used against a priest or church minister – that he did not stop doing church work after threats. In other words, the very dedication to Christian work that makes these people such a target for Muslim aggression, and keeps them doing God’s work in the face of it is used as evidence against them in their claim for asylum. This is perverse reasoning indeed! Whatever happened to that most fundamental human right – freedom to express one’s religious faith?

The Border Agency rejected his assertion that his family had been threatened and his brother beaten by militants looking for him. In other words, they think it was made up. One of the reasons they gave for disbelieving him is that his family also never went to the authorities.

The fixation the BA official has with the fact that people did not go to the police indicates ignorance of the fact that very many crime victims (of all faiths) do not go to the police in Pakistan because of police corruption and fear of blackmail by the police. Christians especially have found that going to police often means police refusing to take reports of incidents. There have been many reports where the kidnap of Christian girls is used as a pretext to coerce and blackmail parents into converting to Islam. The police very often refuse to file reports in these cases. In the notorious Gojra case were many Christian houses were burned and a family burned alive the police refused to file a report until the now assassinated Christian Government Minister Shabbhaz Bhatti intervened and forced them to. In other cases where Christians were under attack, eg Bagram Beg, police forced them to sign agreements only to have church services when Muslim mullahs deemed them not ‘offensive’. In the face of so many reports is it truly a surprise that many Christian choose to suffer in silence rather than exacerbate persecution. ALL of the arrested perpetrators of the Gojra incident have recently been released due to a lack of evidence, much due to police inactivity during this high profile investigation.

Read part 2 by Clicking (Here)

Read Part 3 by Clicking (Here)

Here is what Premier Christian Radio reported after we highlighted the case to them. The victim is obtaining a letter of support against the arguments above from the BPCA:

1 comment:

  1. My dear Wilson,
    I have been dealing with such cases for years now.
    I feel that the Asylum seekers need to know what is needed to vindicate their case.
    It is not very difficult to get a receipt of an application submitted to the police department.
    Before filing an applications our people need to consult those having experience.
    Very often they think that the systems in UK will work like they work in Pakistan.
    The rising number of fake applicants [most of whom are Muslims] the BA is digging deep into the applications.
    The people should be advised accordingly.