Cambodian Woman Wins Appeal Of Asylum Denial

     BOSTON (CN) – The Board of Immigration Appeals failed to explain its skepticism of a Cambodian woman’s claim that she had been persecuted in her native country based on her political views, the 1st Circuit ruled.

     Sopheap Sok had overstayed her visa and applied for asylum under the Convention Against Torture. In denying her application, the board did not explain why Sok failed to show that she had suffered persecution in Cambodia.
     Sok claimed that she and her husband were beaten and arrested on more than one occasion for their involvement in the Sam Rainsy Party, which opposed the ruling Cambodian People’s Party.
     Sok’s husband once led 300 protesters in a rally, Sok claimed, and the government responded by spraying them with wastewater. She said she learned in 2002 that her husband had been murdered and dumped under a bridge with 20 other bodies.
     The immigration judge improperly categorized the couple’s problems in their home country as “threats” and found Sok’s testimony “unreliable and unconvincing,” the appeals court ruled.
     “Could 20 people have been murdered under a bridge or in a pond and no police report was made?” the immigration judge asked.
     Judge Torruella partially vacated the immigration judge’s ruling.

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