The court ordered the Ministry to grant refugee status to 6 Iraqi citizens
According to the decision made on December 27th, 2017 by the Administrative Cases Panel of Tbilisi City Court, the Ministry of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Accommodation and Refugees of Georgia was ordered to grant refugee status to Iraqi citizen A.A.H.H and five members of his family. The members of the family are being persecuted in the country of origin because of their religion.
The Iraqi citizens are represented at court and administrative bodies by the United Nations Association of Georgia and Tolerance and Diversity Institute.
The applicants had been persecuted and harassed by the Iraqi government because of their ethnicity (Kurdish) and religious affiliation (Christian).
On January 9, 2014, after arriving in Georgia, the family applied to the Ministry in accordance with the Georgian legislation and requested to grant the refugee status.
The Ministry of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Accommodation and Refugees of Georgia examined applicants’ statement, considered that there were all prerequisites required by the law to grant the asylum, however, still rejected it. The reason for the denial was the report prepared by the State Security Service according to which the applicants' stay in Georgia contradicts to the State interests.
This decision was appealed by the applicant at Tbilisi City Court. In 2015 the Court annulled the disputed decision, ordered the Ministry to re-examining the case and to issue the new act.
This decision was appealed by the Ministry at Tbilisi Court of Appeals. The appellate court affirmed the ruling of the city court.
Afterwards the Ministry re-examined the application, however, due to the exact same circumstances, rejected to grant the refugee status again.
The second denial of the Ministry was appealed at Tbilisi City Court. The applicants considered that the assessment of State Security Service and the decision of the Ministry was unfounded and illegal. Therefore they requested annulment of the decision and issuing of the new act that would grant the applicants the asylum.
On December 27, 2017, Tbilisi City Court satisfied the claim and ordered the Ministry to issue new individual administrative-legal act and to grant them the refugee status.
By the Court’s decision it was confirmed that the assessments of State Security Service do not have a mandatory power and it can be unjustified and unlawful.
It has to be underlined, that the statistics of negative assessments prepared by the State Security Service raise a substantial suspicion that this state institution misuses its privilege given by the legislation, unjustifiably restricts the rights of the applicants and carries out a selective and discriminatory policy towards the citizens of particular countries.
It is noteworthy that this problem is reflected in the official report published by the European Commission in 2017, which highlights the fulfillment of obligations undertaken by Georgia through visa liberalization process. The European Commission expresses dissatisfaction that the majority of applications for asylum seekers in Georgia are being rejected on the ground of state security.
TDI provides legal aid in the frame of the project “Combating Religious, Ethnic and Racial Discrimination in Georgia” in the framework of East-West Management Institute’s (EWMI) project Promoting Rule of Law in Georgia (PROLoG) funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)