Court grants refugee status to Afghani citizen escaping Taliban

The Administrative Court has granted refugee status to an Afghani citizen reportedly persecuted by the Taliban, overturning the Citizenship and Migration Affairs Office (PMLP) decision to only grant him alternative status, reported LSM's Latvian-language service.

In interviews with the Border Guard, the man said he worked as a bodyguard for a councilwoman at the local municipality. Subsequently Taliban fighters tried recruiting him and later beat him up when he refused. He had turned to the police, who didn't respond, and after further recruitment attempts and threats to his family he fled the country.

The PMLP granted the man "alternative status" in January. Alternative status is granted for a year and reviewed by the authorities each subsequent year. As such it differs from refugee status, which is granted indefinitely.

The man turned to the Administrative Court, asking to be granted refugee status. 

The court said there's no doubt as to the veracity of his claims. Furthermore, as the man is being persecuted for being a part of a social group - persons who have escaped forced recruitment - and as his home country could not provide him with adequate protection, the court tasked PMLP to grant him refugee status.

The decision cannot be appealed.

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