May 15, 2017
In a case referred by Immigration Equality, Weil secured asylum for an LGBT man from Belarus who was forced to flee his home after being targeted for numerous assaults on account of his sexual orientation.
Our client, a talented musician, fled Belarus in 2014 after suffering the latest attack in a long series of assaults by both private actors and the police. Supervised by partner Adam Hemlock, Litigation associate Gaspard Rappoport represented the client in his asylum proceeding (including the asylum interview), along with Sasha Shulzhenko, who also served as a translator. The Weil team put together a voluminous application for asylum, including a personal declaration detailing the abuse our client endured, supporting affidavits, documentary evidence of the attacks, including medical reports, and dozens of reports documenting anti-LGBT violence in Belarus.
The application process took more than two years. During that time, the Weil team assisted our client and his husband in securing work authorization and advised the couple in relation to events affecting the asylum application. Our client and his husband have built a new life in the United States, where they feel safe and can live openly without fear of reprisal.
Immigration Equality is an LGBTQ immigrant rights organization providing advice and legal services to thousands of LGBTQ and HIV-positive immigrants seeking refuge, fair treatment and freedom in the United States. In more than 80 countries, it is a crime or fundamentally unsafe to be LGBTQ, with consequences up to and including the death penalty.