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WA (PAKISTAN) v. THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT

the appropriate guidance for a decision-maker can be summarised as follows: i) Is the Claimant genuinely an Ahmadi? In answering that question the guidance set out in paragraph 5 of the headnote in MN is well expressed. ii) The next step involves an inquiry into the Claimant’s behaviour if he or she is returned to Pakistan. Will he or she actually behave in such a way as to attract persecution? In answering that question, the decision-maker will again consider all the evidence and will, where appropriate, expressly consider whether the behaviour claimed by the asylum-seeker is genuinely an expression of their religious belief and is an authentic account of the way they will behave if returned. iii) If the decision-maker’s conclusion is that the Claimant, if returned to Pakistan, will avoid behaviour which would attract persecution, then the decision-maker must ask the question why that would be so. Many possibilities arise. The individual may genuinely wish to live quietly, and would do so whether or not repression existed in relation to the expression of his or her Ahmadi faith. The individual may have mixed motives for such behaviour. If such a quiet expression or manifestation of genuine Ahmadi belief is merely the result of established cultural norms or social pressures, then it is unlikely there will be a basis for asylum. However, if a material reason (and not necessarily the only reason) for such behaviour will be to avoid persecution, then it is likely that the Claimant will have a valid claim for asylum. There is no requirement that public expression of Ahmadi religious faith, of a kind which is likely to attract persecution, should be of “particular importance” to the Claimant. Such a requirement is inconsistent with the test as laid down in HJ (Iran). To that extent, the guidance given in the body of MN (Ahmadis) Pakistan CG and in the headnote is misleading and should not be followed.

6 March 2019 | Judicial Body: United Kingdom: Court of Appeal (England and Wales) | Document type: Case Law | Topic(s): Ahmadis - Religious persecution (including forced conversion) | Countries: Pakistan - United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

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