Shearman & Sterling’s Hong Kong team won an appeal on an asylum case for a family of pro bono clients referred to us by Justice Centre Hong Kong. The clients -- a father, mother and two children -- were torture survivors from Africa. As a result of this victory, they are now eligible for refugee resettlement from Hong Kong to a third country. This was an exceptional result. Only 0.5% of such cases have been won in Hong Kong in recent years.
This family fled their home because of the father’s political affiliations. The father was confronted by the intelligence service outside a grocery store. The men hooded him, drove him to an unknown location and pulled off the hood to reveal a large windowless fluorescent-lit room, where he was tortured for days. His wife was also arrested and physically assaulted while she was pregnant. The family's case was initially refused by the Immigration Department. The Justice Centre and Shearman & Sterling team worked together for over 18 months to help the family file their appeals, preparing statements, expert reports and medical evidence to document the incidents of torture.