Doly Sharmin Akther v Torture Claims Appeal Board / Non-refoulement Claims Petition Office And Another [Decision On Leave Application]

Court:High Court (Hong Kong)
Judgement Number:HCAL1135/2017
Judgment Date:28 Jun 2018
Neutral Citation:[2018] HKCFI 1414
HCAL1135/2017 DOLY SHARMIN AKTHER v. TORTURE CLAIMS APPEAL BOARD / NON-REFOULEMENT CLAIMS PETITION OFFICE AND ANOTHER

HCAL1135/2017

[2018] HKCFI 1414

IN THE HIGH COURT OF THE

HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION

COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE

CONSTITUTIONAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE LAW LIST No. 1135 of 2017

BETWEEN

Doly Sharmin Akther Applicant
and
Torture Claims Appeal Board /
Non-refoulement Claims Petition Office
1st Putative Respondent
Director of Immigration 2nd Putative Respondent

Application for Leave to Apply for Judicial Review
NOTIFICATION of the Judge’s Decision (Ord. 53 r. 3)

Following;

consideration of documents only
consideration of documents and the Applicant being absent from court

Order by Deputy High Court Judge Josiah Lam:

Leave to apply for judicial review be refused.

Observations for the Applicant

Background

1. The Applicant is a Bangladesh national. She is now aged 28 (DOB: 1 January 1990).

2. The Applicant claimed she would be ill-treated or killed by moneylenders in Bangladesh. The moneylenders were leaders of the Jubo League, which was the youth wing of the Awami League (“AL”). They were notorious and engaged in illegal activities. They had good relation with AL leaders, members of the Parliament and influential people. The Applicant's husband had borrowed money from those moneylenders and could not repay them. He later died in 2013.

3. The Applicant said she got married in 2009. Her husband was a drug user and was violent to her. He had borrowed money to buy drugs. The Applicant only knew this in February 2013 when some armed men came to her home to vandalise the properties. They threatened to kill the Applicant’s family if her husband could not repay the debt. The Applicant learnt from her husband that he owed those people 400,000 - 500,000 Bangladesh Takas.

4. The Applicant and her husband reported the matter to the police. However, no one was arrested. The Applicant guessed the culprits had bribed the police.

5. The Applicant thought she could not stay in Bangladesh. She feared she would be tortured by her husband and the debt collectors. She feared she would be killed.

6. In mid-2013, the Applicant saw an advertisement of domestic work. She went to Dhaka to receive training for three months before coming to Hong Kong to work as a domestic helper in late 2013. After she had come here for two months, she learnt her husband was stabbed to death in Bangladesh in August 2013. The Applicant guessed the AL people had killed her husband.

7. The Applicant's employment contract was terminated prematurely in January 2015. She had to leave Hong Kong on or before 5 February 2015 but she overstayed. She was arrested eight months later in October 2015. Then she lodged a non-refoulement claim.

8. The Applicant said her family in Bangladesh told her that the AL people were still looking for her. She believed she would be killed by them or sold to sex traffickers/brothels if she could not repay her husband’s debt.

9. The Applicant thought the Bangladesh authorities would not help her because AL was the ruling party. She claimed internal relocation was not viable since she would not be able to live on her own and the AL people had strong networks to find her.

10. In the ensuing two-tier screening process here (“the Unified Screening Mechanism”), the Director of Immigration (“the Director”) and the Torture Claims Appeal Board/ Non-refoulement Claims Petition Office (“TCAB/NCPO” or simply “the Board”) respectively refused the Applicant’s claim with respect to all the four applicable grounds: (i) risk of torture,[1] (ii) risk of persecution,[2] (iii) risk of torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment (CIDTP risk or BOR3 risk)[3] and (iv) risk of violation of the right to life (BOR2 risk)[4].

11. On 22 December 2017, the Applicant applied for leave for judicial review.

Chronology of events

12. Things happened in this order: –

Nov 2013 The Applicant came to Hong Kong to work as a domestic helper.
2015-1-22 The Applicant's employment contract was terminated prematurely. She had to leave Hong Kong on or before 5 February 2015.
2015-2-6 The Applicant began overstaying in Hong Kong.
2015-10-29 The Applicant was arrested by the police.
2015-11-22 The Applicant raised a non-refoulement claim.
2016-4-27 The Director held a screening interview with the
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