Iraqi family’s asylum appeal rejected

High Court judge said parents’ evidence found to be contradictory and not credible

Judgment: Mr Justice Paul McDermott refused to quash Refugee Appeals Tribunal decision. Photograph: Reuters/Michaela Rehle

Judgment: Mr Justice Paul McDermott refused to quash Refugee Appeals Tribunal decision. Photograph: Reuters/Michaela Rehle

Fri, Aug 22, 2014, 01:00

An Iraqi family, who claimed they had left Iraq because the “Mujahideen Brigade” had threatened to kill them, have lost a legal challenge against a decision of the Refugee Appeals Tribunal not to grant them asylum in Ireland.

Mr Justice Paul McDermott, in refusing to quash the tribunal’s decision, said that in the High Court yesterday the couple and their son (22) had failed to establish they were the victims of religious persecution.

The family, natives of Baghdad, were Shia Muslims and had claimed that if they returned to Iraq they would be persecuted by Sunni Muslims. The father had been a medic in the Iraqi army.

The family claimed that before their coming to Ireland the Mujahideen had ordered them to leave their neighbourhood or be killed. Their house had been bombed in 2007 and the father’s brother had been killed by unknown terrorists in 2010.

They also claimed their lives were in danger because another of their sons worked as an interpreter with the US army. Once they had been under siege for five days and neighbours had branded them “traitors” for helping the Americans.

The judge said the family arrived in Ireland in September 2006 after travelling through Turkey and France with the help of a trafficker, who charged them $15,000.

He said he was satisfied the family had failed to establish a “well founded fear of persecution” in their home country.

The judge, stating that the tribunal had found the parents’ evidence had been contradictory and not credible, refused to quash its decision or remit it for rehearing.