Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Convention Against Torture -- Standard to Apply

In Kamara v. Attorney General of the United States, No. 04-2647 (August 29, 2005), the Third Circuit set out the standard to be applied when an individual seeks asylum under the Convention Against Torture (CAT) from removal to a country occupied in part by a government power and in part by rebels. In Kamara's case, the INS sought to remove him to Sierra Leone. The Immigration Judge granted asylum holding that it was nearly certain that Kamara would be tortured by the rebels and there was a reasonable chance that he would be subject to abusive treatment from the Sierra Leone government. The Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) reversed. Kamara filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus which the district court granted. The 3d Circuit vacated the district court's opinion and remanded to the BIA holding that the BIA should apply the proper standard for CAT asylum claims, namely that Kamara was entitled to CAT protection if he could show that the cumulative probability of torture by the government and the rebels exceeded 50%.

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