VS (Registration on Relocation)

JurisdictionEngland & Wales
CourtImmigration Appeals Tribunal
JudgeMr S L Batiste,Mr J Perkins,Mrs E Hurst
Judgment Date01 Sep 2004
Neutral Citation[2004] UKIAT 242

[2004] UKIAT 242

IMMIGRATION APPEAL TRIBUNAL

Before:

Mr S L Batiste (Vice-President)

Mr J Perkins (Vice-President)

Mrs E Hurst JP

Between
VS
Appellant
and
The Secretary of State for the Home Department
Respondent

For the Appellant: Mr S Jaisri, instructed by Messrs Bart Williams & Co

For the Respondent: Ms T Hart, Presenting Officer.

VS (Registration on Relocation) Ukraine CG

DETERMINATION AND REASONS
1

The Appellant, a citizen of Ukraine, appeals, with permission, against the determination of an Adjudicator, Mr T R P Hollingworth, dismissing his appeal against the decision of the Respondent on 14 February 2001 to issue removal directions and refuse asylum.

2

The Appellant's claim can be summarised as follows. He lived in Ivano-Frankovsk, in West Ukraine and was a qualified engineer with his own business. He was a member of the congregation of a local Ukrainian Orthodox Christian Church. He did not hold any particular office in the Church but assisted the local priest by for example driving him about from time to time. He said there was an ongoing conflict in the area between the Orthodox Christians and the Greek Catholics, who formed the majority of the local population. His problems allegedly began on 5 March 2000. He heard noises outside his church. He went outside to investigate and found himself embroiled in a fight. He suffered concussion and cuts and bruises and required hospitalisation for twelve days. The Appellant then received threatening telephone calls telling him not to persist with any complaints against his attackers. Nevertheless the matter was reported to the police, who made inquiries but there were no arrests. Thereafter he suffered harassment and intimidation from the Greek Catholics, which he reported to the police, who failed to take the complaints seriously. The second incident was on 15 October 2000 in Mikulichia, a village some 50 km from his home. He went to arrange for the use of the Church in that village by the Orthodox Christians the following Sunday. Afterwards he was beaten up in the churchyard by Greek Catholic members of that congregation. His car was vandalised and personal belongings including his and his wife's passports were stolen. He was hospitalised again. On 17 October 2000 his shop was looted. He did not consider that he could live safely in Ukraine as he could not relocate elsewhere due to registration requirements. He came to the UK on 3 December 2000, with his wife and daughter, and applied for asylum two days later.

3

The Adjudicator accepted that the Appellant was an Orthodox Christian and married man with one child, who was the owner of a business. He was not involved in politics and his involvement with his Orthodox Church was at low level, limited to regular attendance and essentially driving his local priest around. The Adjudicator accepted that the Appellant was the subject of an attack on 5 March 2000, but did not accept his account of this attack. His evidence about how he became involved was unclear. It would appear to be purely by chance rather than any targeting. The medical evidence provided in support of his claim showed no more than the Appellant attended a local medical centre. It made no mention of hospitalisation or of any treatment beyond the provision of painkillers. There is no mention of any appointment to see a specialist. Thereafter the Appellant continued with his business until October 2000, without any further serious incidents. The Adjudicator considered there was no objective evidence of religious violence or persecution involving the Orthodox Church or the Greek Catholic Church. He concluded that if the Appellant had complained to the police they would have investigated the matter, especially if there were witnesses.

4

The Adjudicator rejected the Appellant's claim that he had received threatening telephone calls, given the vagueness of the evidence about them and the Appellant's evasiveness when questioned. At all events at no attempt was made to carry out any threats between March and October 2000. The Adjudicator rejected the credibility of the Appellant's account of the attack on 15 October 2000 and its seriousness. He did not consider that the Appellant would have been targeted by Greek Catholics 50 km away from his home. There was also a material inconsistency between his various accounts. In his statement of April 2002 he complained about lack of police support when he was able to identify the culprits. Yet at the hearing he said that he did not know who his attackers were. The Adjudicator concluded that there was a sufficiency of protection available for the Appellant in his home area. If as he latterly maintained he did not know who his attackers were in the October incident, the lack of arrests did not imply that the police were uninterested. The Adjudicator rejected the claim of the vandalisation of the Appellant's shop because there was no evidence of any report to the police and no evidence about when the incident occurred and how the damage was caused. It was implausible that if the police had been involved in investigating the attack on 15 October, the Respondent would not have mentioned to them this attack on his shop as well. The Adjudicator did not accept either that the Appellant's and his wife's passports were stolen or his later claim that the police had recovered them but refused to return them. His reason was the unsatisfactory and confused evidence given by the Appellant about this.

5

In reaching his conclusions the Adjudicator gave weight to a report by Dr Chenciner dealing with obstacles facing potential returnees to the Ukraine in the light of the residential registration system that replaced the previous propiska system in November 2001. However, as an alternative finding, the Adjudicator concluded that the Appellant's...

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3 cases
  • Upper Tribunal (Immigration and asylum chamber), 2004-09-01, [2004] UKIAT 242 (VS (Registration on relocation))
    • United Kingdom
    • Upper Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber)
    • 1 September 2004
    ...on Relocation) Ukraine CG [2004] UKIAT 00242 @page { margin-right: 0.98in; margin-top: 0.98in; margin-bottom: 0.59in p { margin-bottom: 0.1in; direction: ltr; color: #000000; line-height: 120%; orphans: 2; widows: 2 } p.western { font-family: "Times New Roman", serif; font-size: 1......
  • Upper Tribunal (Immigration and asylum chamber), 2005-04-20, [2005] UKIAT 95 (IB (Propiska, Update and corruption))
    • United Kingdom
    • Upper Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber)
    • 20 April 2005
    ...of time, as a means of avoiding persecution. 18. On this issue, Miss Pal prayed in aid VS (Registration on Relocation) Ukraine CG [2004] UKIAT 00242, where the Tribunal also had the benefit of a report by Dr Chenciner. For this and from the CIPU Report, the Tribunal concluded that “although......
  • IB (Propiska-update and corruption)
    • United Kingdom
    • Immigration Appeals Tribunal
    • 20 April 2005
    ...length of time, as a means of avoiding persecution. 18 On this issue, Miss Pal prayed in aid VS (Registration on Relocation) Ukraine CG [2004] UKIAT 00242, where the Tribunal also had the benefit of a report by Dr Chenciner. For this and from the CIPU Report, the Tribunal concluded that “ a......

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