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Country guidance on returns to DRC

The Upper Tribunal gives country guidance on returns to DRC in the new case of BM and Others (returnees – criminal and non-criminal) DRC CG [2015] UKUT 293 (IAC):

1. A national of the Democratic Republic of Congo (“DRC”) who has acquired the status of foreign national offender in the United Kingdom is not, simply by virtue of such status, exposed to a real risk of persecution or serious harm or treatment proscribed by Article 3 ECHR in the event of enforced return to the DRC.

2. A national of the DRC whose attempts to acquire refugee status in the United Kingdom have been unsuccessful is not, without more, exposed to a real risk of persecution or serious harm or proscribed treatment contrary to Article 3 ECHR in the event of enforced return to DRC.

3. A national of the DRC who has a significant and visible profile within APARECO (UK) is, in the event of returning to his country of origin, at real risk of persecution for a Convention reason or serious harm or treatment proscribed by Article 3 ECHR by virtue of falling within one of the risk categories identified by the Upper Tribunal in MM (UDPS Members – Risk on Return) Democratic Republic of Congo CG [2007] UKAIT 00023. Those belonging to this category include persons who are, or are perceived to be, leaders, office bearers or spokespersons. As a general rule, mere rank and file members are unlikely to fall within this category. However, each case will be fact sensitive, with particular attention directed to the likely knowledge and perceptions of DRC state agents.

4. The DRC authorities have an interest in certain types of convicted or suspected offenders, namely those who have unexecuted prison sentences in the DRC or in respect of whom there are unexecuted arrest warrants in the DRC or who allegedly committed an offence, such as document fraud, when departing the DRC. Such persons are at real risk of imprisonment for lengthy periods and, hence, of treatment proscribed by Article 3 ECHR.

Colin Yeo
Colin Yeo A barrister specialising in UK immigration law at Garden Court Chambers in London, I have been practising in immigration law for 15 years. I am passionate about immigration law and founded and edit the Free Movement immigration law blog.

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