Tribunal: Member Angela Cranston
The Department of Immigration and Border Protection refused the applicant’s Protection visa on 18 August 2015 and he applied to the AAT for a review of this decision.
The applicant claimed that he feared supporters of the Awami League would harm or kill him due to his political involvement with the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP). The applicant claimed he had been an active member of BNP since 2005 and that he helped organise social activities and meetings, which were sometimes held at his father’s shop. He claimed that the situation became bad in 2009 when supporters and officials of the Awami League Party started abusing, assaulting and torturing BNP members. He claimed supporters of the Awami League Party ransacked his father’s shop and attacked his home in efforts to find him. The applicant claimed he fled to Dhaka, where he resided for three years before he made arrangements to escape the country and he eventually came to Australia looking for refuge.
A Protection visa may be granted if the applicant can satisfy one of two criteria. The first is called the ‘refugee criterion’ and broadly requires the applicant to have a ‘well-founded fear of persecution’. The second is called ‘complementary protection’ grounds and broadly requires the applicant to have ‘a real risk of significant harm’.
The AAT had doubts about the credibility of the applicant. There were inconsistencies between the applicant’s written statements and the documentation he presented to the AAT. The documentation suggested the applicant was appointed Joint Secretary General of the BNP. However, the date of his appointment to this position was before the date that was on the membership receipt provided by the applicant, which suggested he was appointed to the position before he became a member. The applicant also did not mention he was the Joint Secretary General in his written statement. The applicant was also unable to identify until told that there was a BNP annual membership fee and he was unable to identify the colours of the BNP flag.
The AAT asked the applicant to name his national parliament representatives after he had mentioned that four or five members represented his district. The applicant was only able to name two and the AAT considered this a somewhat basic question for someone who was politically active. The AAT was not satisfied that the applicant was associated with or a member of the BNP. This was based on his lack of knowledge about his representatives, his lack of knowledge about his BNP membership and the BNP flag.
The AAT did not accept that the applicant or the documents he produced as evidence were credible. The AAT did not accept that the applicant was targeted by the Awami League Party supporters or officials or anyone else.
The AAT concluded that the applicant did not meet the criteria for a Protection visa and affirmed the Department’s decision.
Read the full written decision on AustLII.