Wiesner v OFPRA

JurisdictionFrance
CourtRefugee Appeal Tribunal (France)
France, Refugee Appeal Tribunal.

(Heilbronner, Conseiller d'Etat, President, Arger and Taviani)

Wiesner
and
OFPRA1

The individual in international law Aliens Admission of Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, 1951 Article 1A(2) Application based on persecution in country of origin Prosecution for failure to return Sentence of one year and eight months' imprisonment and confiscation of property Whether constituting persecution The law of France

Summary: The facts:As a result of her opposition to the regime in her country of origin, the appellant was subjected to restrictions which led her to leave that country for France. By reason of her refusal to return to her country, she was sentenced to imprisonment for one year and eight months and to the sequestration of her assets. The French Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless Persons (OFPRA) rejected her application to be recognized as a refugee, basing its refusal on the ground that the treatment of which the appellant complained did not amount to persecution within the meaning of Article 1 A(2) of the Refugees Convention since it arose after her departure from her country of origin and was imposed in conformity with the general law of that country. She appealed to the Refugee Appeal Tribunal.

Held:The appeal was allowed. The treatment in question amounted to persecution since it was manifestly disproportionate to the allegations made against the appellant.

The following is the text of the decision of the Tribunal:

In accordance with Article 1A(2) of the Geneva Convention of 28 July 1951 and the New York Protocol of 31 January 1967 the term refugee applies to every person who, having a well-founded fear of persecution by reason of his race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside his country of nationality and cannot or, by reason of this fear, does not wish to avail himself of the protection of that country.

It appears from the preliminary investigation that Miss Wiesner suffered various restrictions in her country of origin, affecting her professional life in particular, by reason of her opposition to the political regime in power in that country, and that the difficulties created in this way were the cause of her...

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