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Tribunal: Member M Sripathy

The AAT remitted a decision of a delegate of the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection (the Department) for reconsideration, after finding the applicant, his wife and their son are refugees.

The applicant claimed to fear harm in Jordan as a Christian who converted to Islam but returned to his original Christian faith. The married couple had left Jordan when the wife became pregnant because the applicant could not be declared a Christian there again. He claimed he would be in grave danger because he converted from Islam and would be forced to divorce his wife and lose custody of his children who would be considered Muslim.

The AAT found the applicant’s claim he was forced to convert to Islam after being forced to marry a Muslim woman, who he later divorced, lacked credibility. Despite this, it found there was a real chance he could face serious harm if he returned to Jordan on the basis that his civil rights and religious freedom would be lost due to his conversion from Islam.

Country information indicated converts from Islam in Jordan face legal discrimination and risk losing their civil rights. This can include annulment of marriages, denial of inheritance and custody rights, removal of official records and confiscation of identification cards. The family risked being subject to repeated interrogations by security forces without adequate police or state protection.

The Tribunal found the applicant to have a well-founded fear of being persecuted in Jordan. As members of the same family unit, his wife and son are also entitled to protection, provided they meet the remaining criteria for the visa.

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