Today it was revealed that Lord Justice Richards refused Yashika Bageerathi’s final appeal against deportation, hours before she was due to depart Heathrow. The Mauritian student aged 19, has been held at Yarl’s Wood immigration removal centre since 19 March 2014. Her immigration case has dominated headlines and even sparked an on-line petition for her stay gathering more than 175,000 signatures.
Facts Of The Case
Yashika originally came to the UK with her mother, brother and sister in 2012 to escape a physically abusive relative, all three of them claimed asylum in the summer of 2013. Yashika was deported without her mother and two sibling as she is an adult and her case was considered separate to theirs. However, the family have been told that they all face deportation.
The A-level student’s mother Sowbhagyawatee Bageerathi told Channel 4 News: “Where she is going, she is worried about the life and the education. She has worked so hard here and now they want to ruin her life.”
Claiming Asylum In The UK
To be recognised as a refugee, you must:
- have left the country you’re a national of or, if you’re stateless, the country you usually live in
- be unable to go back because you fear persecution
- be unable to live safely in another part of the country you left
- have failed to get protection from authorities in the country you left
This persecution must be because of your:
- political opinion
- membership of a particular social group that puts you at risk because of the social, cultural, religious or political situation in your country – eg your gender, gender identity, sexual orientation
Each case has to fit into the fundamental, some may say restrictive points of asylum law – depending how you view these points. One of the core tests is ‘membership of a particular social group’.
The Courts have quite clearly stated that in certain scenarios women can account for a social group that needs protection under refugee status.
A turning point in immigration law happened in 1999, the law Lords issued a judgement in favour of two women from Pakistan.
Both women had escaped from abusive husbands and argued that they feared if returned to their home country, they would be accused and convicted in a local sharia court of adultery. This would result either in stoning or public lashing, and it was thought that the court’s judgement would go in favour of the husbands simply because they were men. Their asylum claims were rejected, but the Law Lords said that was wrong.
The Law Lords ruled that Pakistani women were part of a ‘social group’, as they were subject to ill-treatment. In this specific circumstance, abuse and domestic violence against women justified refugee protection because the state exposed the women to persecution.
There has to be some kind of correlation between the abuse and how their home country functions or more so, how it doesn’t.
Home Office: Yashika’s Safety Will Be Protected
A Home Office spokesman said: “We consider every claim for asylum on its individual merits and in this case the applicant was not considered to be in need of protection.
“The case has gone through the proper legal process and our decision has been supported by the courts on five separate occasions.”
The spokesman further added that the UK government has been assured from their Mauritian counterparts that Yashika’s safety would be protected.
Contact us for a successful UK Asylum application
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We also undertake a great deal of appeal work before the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal and have a successful track record of successful results for our clients. We have the experience and the knowledge required to take your case forward successfully. If you have had a student visa refused, contact us to discuss your case so that we can provide you with a case assessment.
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