A Seoul court has recognized a Jordanian man as a refugee in a suit filed against the Seoul Immigration Office, citing there is a high possibility of political persecution if he goes back home, judiciary sources said Sunday.
The man, whose identity has been withheld, is believed to have taken part in anti-government protests in his home country from January 2011 to March 2014 as part of the Arab Spring in 2011, a wave of protests in the Middle East and North Africa that led to the overthrowing of some autocratic governments in the region.
He arrived in South Korea on a tourist visa in late 2014 and applied for refugee status the day of his arrival. But the immigration office turned down the application, saying fear of political persecution wasn't sufficient grounds to receive asylum.
Offering reasons behind the recognition, the Seoul Administrative Court said newspaper stories on the Internet and footage on YouTube support the man's claim that he took part in the rallies.
The court also said reports of Jordan's persecution of anti-government activists around 2014 have been submitted to international bodies, and the latest news reports show the Jordanian government is detaining anti-government activists.
In light of this evidence, he is viewed to have enough grounds to be afraid of political persecution, the court said, deeming the decision by the immigration office to deny his refugee status application to be unlawful. (Yonhap)