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.”