Court reverses decision denying Ethiopian’s refugee status


An Ethiopian woman whose asylum application was rejected by the Immigration Bureau of Japan more than seven years ago could gain refugee status after a court overturned the decision on Aug. 8.

According to the Tokyo District Court ruling, the woman was ordered by local police to leave a women’s support organization in Ethiopia that she was a core member of. When she did not comply, the police detained and sexually assaulted her around September 2008.

She was later released on bail and visited Japan on a business trip in October 2008, but instead of returning home, she applied for refugee status a week later.

Her application was officially rejected in February 2011.

In the latest case, the bureau, which is a part of the Justice Ministry, contested the authenticity of a “wanted notice” and other documents issued by the Ethiopian government to the woman, but the court ruled they are “genuine.”



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