UK: A GAY Pakistani man will have his case re-heard after Scottish judges dealt yet another blow to Prime Minister Theresa May over her hard-line stance on immigration while she was Home Secretary.
We have decided to grant the appeal. We can only hope that the long and unfortunate history…is not typical of immigration proceedings in the tribunal system.
In a remarkable criticism of the whole immigration process in the long-running case, three judges allowed the gay man’s appeal against the Home Office, and senior Scottish judge Lord Malcolm wrote: “We have decided to grant the appeal. We can only hope that the long and unfortunate history…is not typical of immigration proceedings in the tribunal system.”
The man was told by May in August 2013, that he would have to be sent home to Pakistan, despite a police charge against him in that country of homosexual activity and a newspaper report of that charge. Earlier hearings were told he faced possible life imprisonment and certain persecution.
The Pakistani citizen, known only as AR, sought asylum and was granted it by one judge, only for May to appeal against that decision and have it overturned by a second tribunal judge.
Further appeals and counter-appeals followed before AR took his case to the Court of Session yesterday where three judges sitting as an appeal court allowed his appeal and ordered the immigration tribunal to reconsider the case.
Lord Malcolm delivered the written judgement on behalf of himself, Lady Clark and Lord Drummond Young. In it he summarised the long and complex history of the case dating back to Theresa May’s actions as Home Secretary in 2013.
Lord Malcolm wrote: “The overall conclusion of the First tier Tribunal was that the appellant had not established his homosexuality. He had fabricated his claim to further his asylum application.”
Lord Malcolm continued: “A number of the judges involved in the case have recognised both the low standard of proof required in cases such as the present and the difficulty which someone such as the appellant is likely to encounter when attempting to prove his sexuality. However, some of the judges have demonstrated little appreciation of these factors in their approach to the evidence before them.
“In the main, that evidence consists of the petitioner’s account, which in its essential elements is supported by a number of documents, two of them of an official nature, and all easily verifiable.
“To our eyes at least, they have the hallmarks of valid documents, albeit no doubt there is at least a possibility that they were fabricated, though, if they were, why would there be internal inconsistencies on points of detail?
“The appellant’s account is, to an extent, supported by a witness from Scotland who has stated that he was told about the appellant’s homosexuality and that he took him to gay clubs. There is a letter from a proprietor of such a club confirming his attendance, and also a membership card.