Supreme Court to Decide Whether Involuntary Returns to Zimbabwe are Lawful

Tue, 27 Mar 2012

The issue at the heart of the appeal concerns whether it is safe to return persons on an involuntary basis to Zimbabwe when it is acknowledged that there will be road blocks and other places at which President Mugabe’s supporters, including the Zanu-PF and the “War Veterans” will expect positive loyalty to be shown by those that are stopped and questioned. Where involuntary returnees do not pass the “loyalty test” at such road blocks, persecution and ill treatment is meted out by the assailants. 
 
KM’s son has been accepted to be a genuine refugee by the British Government and he lives in the United Kingdom. KM believes he is at risk on return to Zimbabwe. He has asserted he will not be able to go beyond the roadblocks and will not be able to show the positive loyalty which the potential assailants will expect of him. He also asserts he should not be expected to dissemble at such roadblocks so as to avoid persecution because to do so would breach the Refugee Convention. He asserts that the Refugee Convention is there to assist those just like him in such circumstances. 
 
The Supreme Court heard legal argument on 18 and 19 June 2012 in this case and in a linked case in which the Secretary of State for the Home Department had appealed. 
 
Ian Dove QC, Abid Mahmood and Nazmun Ismail appeared on behalf of KM and were instructed by Blakemores Solicitors, Birmingham.

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