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Note on IM and AI (Risks –membership of Beja Tribe, Beja Congress and JEM ) Sudan CG [2016] (IAC)

Written by Stephen Vokes.

Emma Rutherford and myself represented AI in this case; the heading is a bit misleading as it is guidance for all Sudanese cases except for Darfur cases. In short this represents an advance on the previous guidance in HGMO (Relocation to Khartoum) Sudan CG [2006] 00062 because there is recognition by the UT that the overall human rights situation in the Sudan has deteriorated.

Do not be put off by the head note; what the Tribunal is saying is that it is a matter of individual factual case assessment in every Sudanese case whether an individual has a well founded fear of persecution. This is what a Tribunal judge should do in any event. However the range of potential risk victims is drawn much wider than before as there is a recognition that any member of the population failing foul of the government and state apparatus could be at risk of persecution. The key question for representatives is to show that the depth of experience of repression by their clients creates a real risk on return for them.

It is unlikely following this Country Guidance, that a one off arrest with no evidence of torture would suffice to found a well founded fear of persecution; nor a period of just harassment. This is seen as rather “normal” by the UT in respect of Sudanese dissidents and those thought to oppose the regime. However the more activity by an applicant, the greater the persecutory risk . This would apply to sur place activity, although here status and organising ability would indicate on the basis of the guidelines, the level of risk on return for an individual.

The decision is welcome on the basis there now is a recognition that there needs to be a sober assessment of the level of risk in each and every Sudanese case, rather than a non Darfuri having to explain why, becomes s/he comes from an area of the Sudan and are not a “risk profession” –see HGMO, they are unusually at risk.