Inadequate asylum decisions by the Home Office

24 March 2019
Naila Khan


According to a Independent article, the Home Office has refused asylum to a Christian convert by quoting Bible passages which it says prove Christianity is not a peaceful religion.

The Iranian national, who claimed asylum in 2016, was told passages in the Bible were “inconsistent” with his claim to have converted to Christianity after discovering it was a “peaceful” faith.

The refusal letter from the department states the book of Revelations – the final book of the Bible – is “filled with imagery of revenge, destruction, death and violence”, and cites six  excerpts from it.

This may come as a shock to people who are not familiar with the contents of a standard Home Office Reason for Refusal letter. These letters often defy logic and are at times irrational to say the least. Similarly, the Home Office often require people claiming on other basis, such as sexual orientation, to go into detail about their religious views. If a caseworker is not satisfied on a subjective level with the response, the case is then refused.
It is my view that the asylum interview and decision process is simply inadequate.

Why are asylum claims often refused?

Common reasons, amongst others, which we come across in asylum refusal letters include:

  • Delay in claiming asylum or delay in disclosure;
  • Lack of details, vague or evasive answers;
  • Internal inconsistencies or discrepancies;
  • Lack of corroborative documentary evidence;
  • Reliance on documents found to be non genuine;
  • Failure to repeat information previously provided previously to the Home Office.

The caseworkers conducting these intrusive interviews are often ill trained specifically to deal with the issues which arise in the interviews. Interpreters which are provided are often inadequate and again are not always able to convey the account in a verbatim manner. Decision-makers are under pressure to refuse claims and clearly this is an example of how irrational and senseless the outcome of what may be a entirely genuine claim. These hurdles at times create hurdles which stand between a genuine claim and protection.

When we receive asylum interviews, we review the contents together with our client. We advise our clients about where things appear not to make sense and seek instructions. We also make further submissions if there are concerns about the way in which the interview was conducted. At times, it is our client who forgot an essential detail or went wrong with a particular date. It is always my advice that any corrections by put to the Home Office as soon as possible after the interview.

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Naila Khan is an expe­ri­enced Senior Immi­gra­tion Advo­cate. She reg­u­larly advises clients on com­plex immi­gra­tion issues.

If you would like immi­gra­tion advice please con­tact us!

Posted in Immigration Updates

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