Asylum from Belarus
We are delighted to announce a significant victory in our first asylum case of 2024, where our client, whose identity will remain confidential, was granted asylum by the Immigration Judge in Sterling Immigration Court. This success underscores the importance of thorough preparation and a relentless commitment to human rights advocacy.
Our client’s journey to the United States began unintentionally, coinciding with the onset of large-scale protests and turmoil in Belarus. While in the U.S., she became deeply moved by the events unfolding in her home country and chose not to remain silent. Her dedication to promoting human rights in Belarus is unwavering, and it played a pivotal role in her asylum claim.
Key points in her testimony and the case included:
- Candid and Credible Testimony: Our client’s articulate and candid testimony left a lasting impression. Both the Immigration Judge and the government ICE attorney found her testimony highly credible.
- Unplanned Activism: She did not plan to be in the U.S. during the tumultuous period in Belarus, but her commitment to human rights led her to become an active advocate for change.
- Government Surveillance: Her compelling account revealed that Belarusian authorities, including KGB agents, specifically targeted her and searched her residence, indicating the government’s interest in her activities.
- Prominent Advocacy: In a sea of protesters, our client stood out as a vocal and effective advocate for human rights. She was an active member of a U.S.-based oppositional organization, contributing to the enactment of legislation sanctioning the Belarusian government for its human rights violations.
These circumstances and her well-founded fear of persecution in Belarus were key factors in the successful asylum outcome.
Country Conditions in Belarus
The case was further supported by alarming human rights conditions in Belarus, as documented in the U.S. State Department Report on Human Rights. Some of the notable findings include:
- Routine Arrests: Belarusian authorities routinely arrested and detained individuals for exercising their fundamental freedoms, opposing the regime, or supporting the pro-democracy movement.
- Political Prisoners: Over 1,443 political prisoners were reported in 2022. The government criminalized political opinion and dissent.
- Death Penalty: The government enforced the death penalty, often on bogus charges like “attempted act of terrorism” against opposition members and donations to Belarusian oppositional organizations which the government labeled as extremist groups.
- Transnational Repression: Belarusian authorities were alleged to have engaged in transnational repression, including kidnapping and violence against individuals abroad for politically motivated reprisals.
- Harassment of Belarusians Abroad: Belarusians outside the country faced harassment, surveillance, and intimidation by individuals suspected of affiliating with the Lukashenka regime.
- Lack of Free Expression: Individuals in Belarus could not publicly criticize the government or discuss public matters without fear of reprisal, including prosecution, forced exile, and intimidation.
These findings underscore the urgency and necessity of providing protection to those who fear persecution in Belarus.
While this case emphasizes the strength of our client’s asylum claim and the dire human rights situation in Belarus, we respect her confidentiality and will continue to advocate for individuals facing similar challenges. Our commitment to defending human rights remains unwavering. Over decades of our practice, we have successfully represented numerous individuals in their asylum cases, and we will be happy to help you as well. You can contact our law firm to schedule a consultation about your asylum case using this link: https://www.islawfirm.com/consultation/.