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Weil Secures Asylum for Man Fleeing Persecution Based on Sexual Orientation

In a case referred to Weil by Immigration Equality, associates Jay Minga, Robert Taylor, Constantinos Pappas, former Weil associate Joy Dineo, Masayoshi Kanzakitani of Bridgestone Corporation, Tomohiro Okawa of Nagashima, Ohno & Tsunematsu, and Katsuki Matsuura of City-Yuwa Partners, supervised by partner Adam Hemlock, secured asylum for an LGBT pro bono client from Mauritania who had suffered physical violence and death threats on account of his sexual orientation and had a well-founded fear of future persecution if required to return to Mauritania.

Our client fled Mauritania in 2014 to escape threats on his life due to his sexual orientation after suffering a long history of violent attacks and verbal assaults carried out with the assistance and tacit support of authorities. The team submitted the client’s application for asylum, including a personal declaration, numerous supporting affidavits, documentation of past bodily harm and extensive reporting on the plight of LGBT individuals in Mauritania. Jay Minga and former Weil associate Joy Dineo accompanied and represented the client in his asylum interviews.

The application process lasted over two-and-a-half years. While the asylum decision remained pending, the Weil team assisted the client to secure employment authorization and advised the client on events affecting the asylum application. Our client is very happy to have asylum in the United States and to live without fear of persecution.

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 over 80 countries, it is a crime or fundamentally unsafe to be LGBTQ, with consequences up to and including the death penalty.