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Duncan Lewis representing appellant in latest guidance case on Somali human rights issues. (12 November 2013)

Date: 12/11/2013
Duncan Lewis, Main Solicitors, Duncan Lewis representing appellant in latest guidance case on Somali human rights issues.

The Upper Tribunal has directed that an appeal in which Duncan Lewis has been instructed is to become the latest guidance case on the current human rights situation in Somalia.

In the last Somalia country guidance case, which was heard by the Upper Tribunal in 2011, the Upper Tribunal held that those returning to south-central Somalia and Mogadishu could be at risk of harm from the ongoing violence in Mogadishu. The last country guidance case also held that there could be a risk from the Al-Qaida aligned group Al-Shabaab who dominate vast areas of south-central Somalia.

The Upper Tribunal has now decided to review the situation on Somalia, in light of the installation of the new government and the continued overt absence of Al-Shabaab in Mogadishu.

The new country guidance case will focus on whether Mogadishu is a safe area in light of the ongoing violence which is being perpetrated by Al-Shabaab elements, and whether, in light of the violence in Mogadishu, Somalis could relocate from Mogadishu to areas of south-central Somalia.

This area is still dominated by the presence of Al-Shabaab. The human rights situation in south-central Somalia and Mogadishu would also be examined in this case, to assess whether there has been any improvements since 2011, and if there have been any improvements, whether it can be said these are long-term improvements that will withstand the test of time.

This case is of great importance on human rights issues in Somalia as the outcome would have a significant effect on future asylum claims made by individuals from Somalia, and will be the latest authoritative guidance case on Somalia.

Bernadette Adusei- lead immigration solicitor stated that; “The decision of this case will impact on many thousands of cases involving Somali citizens presently in the UK who may be forced to return home by the Home Office. There is already strong evidence from leading Country experts to suggest that an individual’s life will be put to risk if removal to Mogadishu takes place. Key human rights organisations are assisting in providing statistics and evidence in the case.”

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