Tribunal: Member Denise Connolly

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (the Department) refused to grant the applicant a protection visa on 12 February 2016. The applicant applied to the AAT for a review of the decision.

The applicant claimed he feared returning to China because he believed he would be persecuted for his religion. The applicant claimed to be a Roman Catholic who was involved in underground church activities in China. He claimed that he had been arrested twice, beaten and interrogated because of his Catholic practice. He claimed that his father was a senior church member who died due to injuries he sustained during a confrontation with a group attempting to demolish a building that was the gathering place for the underground Catholic church.  

Australia has an obligation under the Migration Act 1958 to protect individuals that can satisfy one of two criteria.[1] The first is called the ‘refugee criterion’ and broadly requires the applicant to have a ‘well-founded fear of persecution’.[2] The second is called ‘complementary protection’ grounds and broadly requires the applicant to have ‘a real risk of significant harm’.[3]

The AAT was not satisfied that the applicant satisfied either of the criteria and affirmed the Department’s decision to refuse the protection visa. In coming to this decision, the AAT took into account independent sources of information about China, particularly on religious practice.

The AAT was not satisfied that the applicant was a genuine adherent to the Catholic faith. The AAT found that the applicant manufactured his evidence, citing issues with several aspects of his evidence.

Read the full decision on AustLII.  

 

 

[1] Section 36(2) of the Migration Act 1958

[2] Section 36(2)(a) and section 5H for the meaning of a refugee under the Migration Act 1958

[3] Section 36(2)(aa) and section 36(2A) for the meaning of significant harm under the Migration Act 1958