Monday, August 01, 2011

Liang—claim supported by documentary evidence, unreliable evidence from agent of persecution

Liang v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration), 2011 FC 65 (CanLII)

Judge: Justice Shore

Date heard: January 19, 2011

Date decided: January 19, 2011

Counsel for Kumar: Hart A. Kaminker

Counsel for Minister: Alex C. Kam

Place of Hearing: Toronto, Ontario

The applicant was a Chinese national who made a refugee claim on the basis of her belonging to an underground church (para. 8).

The Refugee Protection Division (RPD) had found that, on a balance of probabilities, the authorities were not looking for the applicant “because no warrant/summons had been left at her home.” (para. 11)

However, Justice Shore found that the documentary evidence supported the applicant’s claim that the authorities could be looking for her, notwithstanding the lack of a summons/warrant left at her home (paras. 12-14). The RPD’s conclusion was therefore unreasonable.

The RPD also found that “the evidence did not support that the Applicant has good grounds for fearing persecution in an unregistered house church” (para. 15). Justice Shore noted that, notwithstanding the lack of documentary evidence of house-church members being arrested in Fujian province, there was documentary evidence of other kinds of persecution and destruction of house-churches (paras. 16-17). In particular, Justice Shore was critical of the RPD’s reliance upon evidence produced by the Chinese government (i.e., the agent of persecution) (para. 20). Therefore, since the documentary evidence supported the claim, it was unreasonable for the RPD to deny it (para. 22).


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