CAT/C/70/D/888/2018 The facts as presented by the complainant 2.1 The complainant entered Switzerland on 2 November 2001 and lodged an asylum application. In a decision of 22 February 2002, the Swiss authorities decided not to examine the merits of her asylum application and ordered her removal from the territory. On 19 April 2002, the complainant married Mr. R., a Swiss and Italian national born in 1962, residing in the canton of Zurich. As a result of the marriage, she was granted a residence permit and then a permanent residence permit in the canton of Zurich. 2.2 In 2015, the complainant travelled to Yaoundé, Cameroon. There she met M.K., a woman of Cameroonian origin, married to a Congolese man and living in Yaoundé. The two women maintained a secret romantic relationship given that homosexual relations are criminalized in Cameroon. Throughout 2015, they managed to keep their relationship a secret. 2.3 In January 2016, the complainant returned to Yaoundé at the invitation of M.K. and continued her relationship with her. On 20 January 2016, they were caught by M.K.’s husband in the family home. The complainant managed to escape and leave the country immediately, after bribing immigration officials at the airport through the intermediary of a friend. After she left, legal proceedings were initiated against her and M.K. for homosexuality. M.K. was arrested and admitted the facts. She remains in custody pending trial. The complainant is therefore wanted by the Cameroonian authorities to appear and testify. Since then, the complainant has not returned to Cameroon. 2.4 On 21 September 2017, the aliens police of the canton of Zurich revoked the complainant’s permanent residence permit and ordered her removal from Switzerland by 21 December 2017. This decision became enforceable and, on 2 January 2018, the complainant was placed in administrative detention by the Zurich cantonal police pending her return to Cameroon. On 5 January 2018, she submitted an asylum application verbally. 2.5 On 1 February 2018, the complainant was summoned by the State Secretariat for Migration for a hearing at her place of detention on the grounds for her asylum application. The hearing was attended by a male member of the Secretariat staff responsible for the hearing, a representative of an independent charitable organization, a minute-taker and an interpreter. The complainant’s legal representative was not informed of the hearing, despite the fact that the complainant had signed a written power of attorney giving him the power to represent her. In a decision of 14 February 2018, the State Secretariat rejected her asylum application and ordered her deportation from Switzerland. On 27 February 2018, the complainant submitted an appeal to the Federal Administrative Tribunal. By judgment of 15 March 2018, the Tribunal overturned the decision of the State Secretariat and returned the case for a hearing in the presence of the complainant’s legal representative, which took place on 9 May 2018. To substantiate the grounds for her asylum application, the complainant produced an article from the Cameroonian newspaper Le Courrier of 29 February 2016 about her love affair with M.K. and the proceedings initiated against her by the Cameroonian authorities.1 2.6 In a decision of 11 June 2018, the State Secretariat for Migration rejected the complainant’s application for asylum, ordered her removal from Switzerland and ordered the execution of this measure. On 9 July 2018, the complainant appealed against this decision. In its judgment of 21 August 2018 ending the proceedings, the Federal Administrative Tribunal declared the appeal inadmissible. Thus, the State Secretariat’s decision of 11 June 2018 became enforceable. 2.7 The complainant claims that the Swiss authorities rejected her asylum application on the grounds that some of her allegations were implausible, without taking into account other relevant elements of her case. She based her claim for asylum on the situation she faced as a homosexual in Cameroon, having been caught in a sexual act with her female partner. This behaviour is punishable both criminally and socially in Cameroon. The fact that some elements of the complainant’s statement at her hearing on 9 May 2018 were contradictory should not call into question the plausibility of her account, in accordance with the principle of the balance of probabilities. Several other elements of the case support the credibility of 1 2 Le Courrier, edition of 29 February 2016, front page and page 3 (included in the file). GE.21-00516

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