November 12, 2014 | ABC News
The Federal Government has lost a High Court appeal over the refugee status of an Afghan truck driver who claimed he could not return to his country for fear of persecution.
The Hazara man, who was denied a protection visa by the Immigration Department, had worked for foreign agencies in Kabul transporting construction materials to and from the city.
He fled Kabul in 2011, when another truck driver showed him a letter from the Taliban which named him and urged others to do their “Islamic duty” and get rid of him.
The Department’s decision to deny him a protection visa was affirmed by the Refugee Review Tribunal, which ruled the man could avoid persecution by changing jobs.
However, the High Court found the tribunal had failed to consider whether it was reasonable to expect the man to remain in Kabul, and not drive trucks away from the city.
It meant the tribunal could not make a proper determination on whether he had a well-founded fear of persecution, the Court ruled.
The man’s case will be heard again by the tribunal, in light of the High Court ruling.