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News Turkish Kurd recognized as refugee by appeals court

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Unswerving cyclist
14 Mar 2002
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A Japanese appeals court has granted a Turkish Kurd refugee status, ruling that he would be at risk of persecution if he returned home. This might set a precedent for other cases involving Kurdish refugees. Japan rarely ever grants refugee status: in 2021, 74 people were officially recognized.

The man in his 20s would become the first Turkish Kurd to be granted the status in Japan, according to the secretariat of the Japan Lawyers Network for Refugees. The Turkish national entered Japan in 2014 and later applied for refugee status, but it was rejected in 2018. He subsequently filed a lawsuit seeking revocation of the decision, according to the Sapporo High Court ruling in May. While the Sapporo District Court had dismissed the lawsuit, the high court recognized the man as a refugee on the basis that he had been tortured by the military and others for providing food to members of a Kurdish independence group in Turkey. There were "objective circumstances that would lead to a fear of persecution," it ruled. The state did not appeal.

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