The lack of a translator when submitting an application for asylum and lack of assessment whether a migrant is a person requiring special treatment is a reason for repealing the decision of the Head of the Office for Foreigners.

On the 21st of June, 2023, the Refugee Board (RdU-256-1/S/23) revoked the decision of the Head of the Office for Foreigners to refuse asylum to our client, Egyptian citizen, and referred the case for reconsideration.

When submitting the application for asylum, the migrant was not provided with a translator, and the border guard officer who interrogated him (who did not speak the migrant’s native language) translated the migrant’s testimony using an online translator. 

The Refugee Board, examining the appeal filed by the attorney, admitted that the above issue was of significant importance in the case of this migrant, because the authority of the first instance based its decision on the findings regarding inconsistencies in his testimony (including, in particular, the comparison of the migrant’s statements with submitted during the interrogation) and recognizing the migrant as an unreliable party to the proceedings.

In addition, the decision of the appeal body stated that the Head of the Office for Foreigners violated the provisions requiring special treatment of persons experiencing violence in their country of origin. During the interrogation, the migrant declared having experienced physical violence in Egypt. Having obtained such information, the asylum authority did not ask the migrant whether he wanted to continue the interrogation. There is also no documentation in the case files indicating that an assessment was made of whether the migrant is a person who requires special treatment and whether there is a need for a psychologist to participate in the activities undertaken in the proceedings, including the questioning of the migrant. This issue is particularly important in these proceedings, because, as indicated, the key factor for the decision was the recognition by the first instance authority that the migrant’s testimonies and statements were unreliable.

The Refugee Board, by transferring the case for reexamination, ordered the Head of the Office for Foreigners to reexamine the entire case in accordance with the regulations.

The migrant was supported by lawyer Aleksandra Pulchny and integration counselor Maria Maleky-Deuar from our association.