Monday, September 07, 2009

Ghaziaskar (not precedential): IJ and BIA Erred By Ignoring Country Conditions in Iran for CAT Relief

Ghaziaskar v. Holder
September 3, 2009
Not Precedential

Judges McKee, Smith, Van Antwerpen. Opinion by Judge McKee. Overturning the BIA's denial of deferral of removal under CAT, the Convention Against Torture. Doesn't list which IJ made the initial decision.

CAT prohibits removal if it is more likely than not someone will be tortured by or at the instigation of the government of the home country. The IJ concluded there were enormous gaps by the man who discussed how he feared torture in Iran due to participating in a political radio program or due to his religion.

The IJ and BIA erred by not adequately considering the conditions in Iran. The Third Circuit felt it appropriate to take judicial notice of the fact that current tensions in Iran would exacerbate the record about Iran's human rights. Also, the discrepancies the IJ and BIA focused on improperly ignored the seriousness of his claim. The IJ did not believe the explanation of why the man had two passports, but the Third Circuit concluded that had little to do with the harm he might face if he returns. The IJ and BIA also improperly assumed that every Catholic church in Iran would have the same policy about not offering communion to newcomers who had not yet become a church member that the IJ often sees in Catholic churches in the United States. Also, even if it were against the rules to give communion to a non-Catholic in Catholic Church, it is possible the priest did not realize the newcomer was not Catholic.


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