Chadian journalist granted asylum
Clients Client A
Jones Day Chicago represented Client A, a Chadian journalist, who, many years ago, founded an independent newspaper there called Democracy. Democracy routinely reported on human rights abuses committed by the Chadian government and the government's overbearing attempts to censor independent media throughout the country. On two separate occasions, government security forces abducted and tortured Client A because of articles and editorials published in his newspaper. The security officers beat, whipped and threatened more serious harm against him, his staff, and his family if he continued to publicly criticize the government. Undeterred, Client A continued to publish his newspaper and was then placed on a death list and hunted by government security forces at his home and the homes of his relatives. Afraid for his life and the safety of his family, Client A fled to the United States. Shortly thereafter, his wife and children fled Chad as well and are now living with relatives in Cameroon. Client A hasn't seen his wife and two small children in more than three years.
Jones Day took the case from NIJC in March of 2008. Finally, after three years of delays and postponements at the immigration court, a merits hearing was held yesterday, April 19, 2011, before new Immigration Judge Guzman. At the end of an afternoon of testimony directed by Tom, Judge Guzman found that Client A was "highly credible and extremely candid," that he had suffered past persecution at the hands of the Chadian government on account of his political opinion, and that he likely would be subject to future persecution or death should he be forced to return to Chad. Accordingly, she issued an oral opinion granting Client A asylum.